We remember another of George Washington’s birthdays. Back in our early days in “el exilio,” we used to celebrate this day exclusively. No Presidents’ Day, but rather President Lincoln on February 12th and President Washington on the 22nd. I regret that we changed that. George Washington was vital to the success of the new American nation. Our friends at Power Line call him the indispensable man and they are right:
Today is the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Of all the great men of the revolutionary era to whom we owe our freedom, Washington’s greatness was the rarest and the most needed. At this remove in time, it is also the hardest to comprehend.
Take, for example, Washington’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Washington’s mere presence lent the undertaking and its handiwork the legitimacy that resulted in success. The convention’s first order of business was the election of a presiding officer. Washington was the delegates’ unanimous choice.
Washington led an army of colonists and then held together the new constitution by serving as the first president. He could have been “president for life” or reelected to a 3rd term. However, he respected the constitution and set the example by walking away from power. We’ve had an orderly transfer of power ever since, and that’s no small accomplishment in world history. He died in 1799.
He was indeed the indispensable man to the new nation. Where would we be today without the work or presence of George Washington?