Sunday, February 22, 2015

George Washington’s Birthday Reminds us of Great Leadership

           As I do every year around this time, I post some observations on George Washington’s birthday.  In addition to praising Washington and defending him against false allegations or misconceptions, I have been encouraging that he ought to be better remembered and honored by restoring the name of the holiday popularly celebrated as “Presidents’ Day” and officially called some variation of the same by most of the States of the American Union to “Washington’s Birthday,” as it is legally called by the United States in order to detract from Washington.  I post today to observe his birthday, as I have also urged that the celebration of  “Washington’s Birthday” be moved to the date of his birth, February 22, because it is never observed on that date under federal and state law.

            As I have noted before, George Washington the Great is underrated as the General who led the Patriots to victory in the American Revolution against overwhelming force, as the indispensable Founding Father of the Union and its Republic and as the first and greatest President of the United States.  This year, recalling Washington’s biography, I cannot help but think of how in the midst of crises today, the world is crying out for leadership, particularly from the American President.  When the American people and others around the world admire the King of Jordan or President of Egypt more than the leader of the Free World, let alone notice the superior leadership skills of a dictator like Russia’s, the deficiency in leadership in the current Chief Executive and Commander in Chief is obvious.  Although we cannot expect that men as extraordinary as Washington would be ordinary, we nevertheless rightly expect that at least an adequate level of leadership be exhibited, especially by one of Washington’s successors, and that his successors study Washington and his leadership skills and follow his example.  The Electors especially should know Washington as the model for the presidency, as should Congress, the States and We the People. 

           Now, more than ever, a holiday of “Washington’s Birthday” is needed to provide the example of virtue, civility, fidelity to the Constitution and republican government, and especially of leadership.

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