President’s Day will be on February 18th this year. From what I’ve read, the holiday was officially named Washington’s Birthday and has never officially been named President’s Day. Maybe everyone decided it was showing favoritism to our first president and decided to change it to honor all of them. Good idea, I suppose, but let’s focus on our first president.
What Would Washington Do? Well, we know what he wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t chop down a cherry tree and then admit to doing so. One of Washington’s biographers made up the story to demonstrate Washington’s honesty. Think about that for a minute. Someone lies to demonstrate honesty. I suppose it would be worse if the biographer was lying about himself to demonstrate his own honesty, but it was still a dichotomy of the worst kind. On the upside, celebrating Washington’s birthday with a cherry pie is a tradition, and I’m in favor of that since I love a good cherry pie.
Wooden dentures? Nope. Washington’s teeth were actually made from numerous things, like human teeth, silver, copper, maybe horse, cow or elephant, etc. That makes me chuckle. Elephant teeth. Funny! And, much better than wooden teeth, in case you have a pet woodpecker.
Okay, that’s all well and good, but we all know he threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River, right? Nope. At Mount Vernon, the Potomac River is over a mile wide. So, again…nope. Not sure anyone could throw something that far. He supposedly did throw a piece of slate across the Rappahannock River, which is much narrower, so that may be where the legend started. To make matters worse, there really weren’t any silver dollars when Washington was a young man.
That white wig we all remember? Sadly, just another story. He kept his own hair and as a young man, he was a redhead. He did put white powder on his hair, a fashionable trend in those days. SO glad that isn’t fashionable anymore. I really don’t think I’d like going around looking like I stuck my head in a bucket of flour.
And one more. George Washington was victorious in numerous battles. Nope. Actually, he lost more battles than he won.
So, what’s the point of all this Washington stuff? Proof positive that politicians have been lying since day one, and still are, even if through surrogates? It’s almost impossible to know who to believe. If you flip back and forth between news shows, you get so many different versions of a story it makes your head spin. But one thing is clear. No matter which way you lean politically, it should be obvious that partisan politics have taken over our county. That can’t be a good thing.
I would be willing to bet you’ve been doing the same thing I have. Shaking your head in disbelief at all the shenanigans, unwillingness to work together, and blatant animosity toward anyone on the other side. It’s been that way for years, and I think most of us just hold on and wait for another election, hoping things will change, which they don’t.
So, how about George? What was his political party? Here’s your final factoid about our first president. George Washington was the only president in history to have NO party affiliation. Wow! In his famous Farewell Address in 1796, he alluded to the “spirit of party,” which “serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”
Sound familiar? What’s also interesting about his Farewell Address is that it is read annually in the Senate. That is one tradition that has been faithfully upheld. I do wonder if our representatives listen to the words and take them to heart, or if it’s become just another perfunctory tradition they sleep through. I hope not, because the words above are what’s happening today. Can’t say we weren’t warned!
Partisan politics have polarized America in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s unreal. It might pass, but not if we don’t act. No, I’m not talking about overthrowing the government, although firing everyone and starting over sounds like a pretty good idea. What I am saying is that the solution to our problems can be found on our knees. We all need to pray for the soul of America. That, by the way, is exactly what Washington would do!
FYI: If you wish to learn more about our first president, go to this site: https://www.mountvernon.org/