President George Washington on the Value of Government, as Stated in his Farewell Address

I wrote the following words about George Washington on Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jim Galloway’s blog (article on Michelle Nunn penned by journalist Greg Bluestein), on June 29, 2014:

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“For those present day Republican ultraconservatives who have been bamboozled by plutocrats (interested mainly in their own personal wealth) to be ‘anti-government’ advocates, I want to post the words of our first President, George Washington, which I just read yesterday on page 755 of Ron Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, entitled ‘Washington: A Life,’ published in 2010.

President George Washington’s Farewell Address, was first published on September 19, 1796 in ‘Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser,’ at Washington’s request. Immediately, thereafter, Washington’s words were published throughout the nation. Below are the words of George Washington, General and Commander-in-Chief of the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain and first President of the United States of America, regarding the value of government:

‘To the PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES,

Friends and Fellow Citizens,

The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. . . .The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.. . . .’

Chernow writes of Washington, ‘Instead of flattering the people, Washington challenged them to improve their performance as citizens.  Most of all he appealed to Americans to cling to the Union, with the federal government as the true guarantor of liberty and independence. As Joseph Ellis has written, ‘In the Farewell Address, Washington reiterated his conviction that the centralizing impulses of the American Revolution were not violations but fulfillment of its original ethos.’ “

 

 

 

(Link to this blog entry found here: http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/06/29/as-gop-runoff-rages-michelle-nunn-says-shes-building-a-grassroots-army/

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One Response to President George Washington on the Value of Government, as Stated in his Farewell Address

  1. It is dangerous to speak of “the duty of every individual to obey the established government”. It would be better to speak of a duty of every individual to respect the rights of every other individual and of the wisdom of working within the established government as long as it does not become a dictatorship.

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