The Prophecy of Washington
“Make America Great Again”, suggests a retrospective. So let’s go back, way back to our first president, George Washington.
Not only did Washington help win our independence, but also he led us at a time when independence was a dangerous and fragile concept and protecting it was key to its sustainability. Washington was neither a monarchist nor extremist, and he fully understood the dangers of each. Partisanship was healthy provided the partisans were reasonable and respectful.
Yes, we can make America Great Again IF we understand and fully appreciate the dire challenges that faced our nascent democracy and the core beliefs of the man who successfully navigated the country through it all. He decried the dangers inherent in partisan politics and to understand his beliefs is to appreciate his prophecy.
Relentless party warfare would “open the door to a demagogue with authoritarian ambitions.”
“The spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension…is itself a frightful despotism…It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another…It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption.”
Hyper-partisanship is the Mother of Despotism. What Washington fought for, nurtured and vigorously shielded from the dangers of vengeful partisans, made America strong and democracy viable. And, yes, it made us “Great.”
Our leaders today are deaf and dumb to history…and then along came Trump.