Thursday, February 23, 2006

Washington's Birthday

Happy Birthday to America's first and greatest President, George Washington.

The fact that there is a United States at all is due largely to George Washington, and in particular to his military leadership in the terrible fall and winter of 1776-77, when he kept the War for American Independence alive on sheer determination. Of course, while fighting the finest army on the planet with raw troops and militiamen who did not even have shoes, Washington had to keep one hand free to keep the politicians in Philadelphia off his back – these worthies all being convinced that they were better qualified to do his job. Had good sense not finally prevailed with the politicos, the British, in spite of everything, no doubt would have prevailed.
No Napoléon or Julius Caesar as a general, George Washington did the United States a significant service following the war by being no Napoléon or Julius Caesar as a politician, by quietly and competently performing his functions as President, and duly making way for his successor when his legal term expired.

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