George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. And I’m starting out with that sentence because, believe it or not, lots of Americans don’t know that. And a lot of other Americans must’ve forgotten about him. Because I’ve heard another, more recent name, mentioned as “the greatest president ever.” To that, I can only say, “Hardly.” And I’m writing about him, today, because he died 221 years ago on this date. 12/14/1799
George Washington was never on TV, radio, or internet.
But he still managed, somehow to become known as the “father of our country.”
So, he must’ve done something impressive. Right?
Well, he was a soldier in the colonial militia during the French and Indian War. And the Second Continental Congress made him Commander-in-Chief for the war of American independence from England. And that was a yuge responsibility, considering how this new army went up against the dominating armed force in the world.
After America gained independence from England, George was chosen to lead the Constitutional Convention to figure out what form of government to install. And, lo and behold, he was elected the first President. And he served two terms, which could have been three if he wanted. But he didn’t.
So, pretty impressive so far, yes?
But imagine starting out a brand new country. Those guys had to start out everything from scratch, so to speak. Because it was a brand new country. And they were working in a totally new government system. So, it wasn’t like they had a blueprint to follow.
And when you dig deeper into George Washington’s life, you discover the kind of man who would probably have no chance at all of getting elected President these days.
I’ll bet you didn’t know how young George, at the age of 14, transcribed a set of moral precepts, known as “Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.” He didn’t make up the rules. But, by most accounts, he lived by the moral principles found in them.
And he learned to farm, tend to and raise livestock, and even survey well enough to be paid for it.
I doubt many, if any, politicians have such down-to-earth skills.
From what I’ve read, George was a Christian. But not necessarily a devout one. Even though he gave credit to God for his achievements in life. And when you consider how horses were shot out from under him and his uniforms had bullet holes, his survival might have had some divine intervention.
I’m no expert on President Washington’s life. But I CAN say, he’s one impressive example of how no modern day elected official can lay claim to “best President ever.”
Rest in peace Mr. Washington.
You helped give us a rising sun.
But now lies have been said and done,
And liberty is in its last run.
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