Here we are in the United States of America celebrating President's Day. The day we actually celebrate the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Let's look at these men and see what we can learn. First George Washington.
On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. "As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent," he wrote James Madison, "it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles." He was also actually opposed to the party system of government. According to the White House Biography, "To his disappointment, two parties were developing by the end of his first term. Wearied of politics, feeling old, he retired at the end of his second. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances." I wish we had learned from this man, and swore off excessive party spirit.
And now for Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Well, we seem to be losing that government of the people, by the people, We are now government of the party, by the party until the next party wins.
So here we are celebrating the lives of two men that had great expectations for this country. And let me say, I have great expectations for this Country too. I talk a lot about the bad things that are happening in this country, but I do love it. I do think we have a great thing going. But we do need to make some changes. We need to follow the words of George Washington and look out for the party system. We need to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln when he called this government of the people, by the people and for the people. Then and only then can we once again become the great nation we once were, and get back on track. Or at least that is I see it now.....