op-ed

Washington’s words continue to speak the truth

William Temple Contributor

It is engrossing to me to see what the first president of the United States had to say on a variety of topics, and how amazingly prophetic his comments are in today’s American culture. And not only “his” quotes, but the rest of the Founders as well, if you care to read or goggle them. And I, like many other Americans, floundering for years, yelling at the TV, and gasping to get a breath as this society inevitably slid into cynical hedonism, am rediscovering the great but forgotten men and women of honor, who have been so diligently removed from the texts of our and our children’s curriculum; except, of course in the humorous caricatures of President’s Day sales. And yes, I like many others have only just begun to get a full education on their wisdom; and that only because of the desperate situation that we find ourselves in, as this Republic continues dying one slow lash after another; a slice of our liberty peeled away one strip at a time. The protected group is now the goal of government largesse, not the guardian of individuals in their own pursuit of happiness.

And this situation: one of a runaway elitist and royal Congress was not lost on George Washington. The roots of the problem had already sprouted in the first Congresses; and G.W. attributed that directly to an understanding of the nature of “fallen” man, and his propensity to allow his pride to subvert principal and equanimity over time; resulting in a selfish desire for personal satisfaction and control, at the cost of the national interest and security. Too much time in Washington by representatives of the people, and not enough at home among their constituents was the problem, and limiting federal government time in Washington was the remedy. G.W.’s words describe the government run-amok cesspool we have now; and his understanding of how to prevent that human flaw from forming competing factions (parties), and thereby halting the nation’s business was simple. Limit the Congress to two months a year. Would that we had listened to him!

Washington’s words need no embellishment from me, unless of course the practiced eloquent speech is too much for the “sound-bite” crassness of the modern plugged-in, head-phoned, digit-limited twitter, blue-toothed, half-dressed, half-focused modern proletariat. This quote is taken from the a marvelous tome: “The Real George Washington, the True Story of America’s Most Indispensable Man,” by the National Center for Constitutional Studies:

“The incertitude which prevails in Congress, [as well as] the nonattendance of its members, is discouraging to those who are willing and ready to discharge the trust which is reposed in them, while it is disgraceful in a high degree to our country. But I believe the case will never be otherwise so long as that body persist in their present mode of doing business, and …hold constant instead of annual sessions…. Annual sessions would always produce a full representation , and alertness at business. The delegates, after a recess of eight or ten months, would meet each other with glad countenances; they would be complaisant; they would yield to each other as much as the duty they owed their constituents would permit; and they better acquainted with the sentiments of [their constituents] and removing their prejudices during the recess. Men who are always together get tired of each other’s company; they throw off the proper restraint; they say and do things which are personally disgusting; this begets opposition; opposition begets faction; and so it goes on til business is impeded, often at a stand. I am sure (having the business prepared by proper boards or a committee) an annual session of two months would dispatch more business than is now done in twelve; and this by a full representation of the Union — To Thomas Jefferson. Fitzpatrick 27.376. (1784)

We must limit this federal beast, or he will eat us all!

William Temple is a historical re-enactor, a pastor of a Bible church in Brunswick, Ga., and a well-known figure at Tea Party events across the country.