Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friendly advice from George Washington:

These wise words come to us over the centuries from our first president, given as he left office permanently, to the nation he loved:

"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions off government."

"Toward the preservation of your government ... it is requisite ... that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon [the Constitution's] principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be ... to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."

"It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution, in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres."

"...avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear...."

"The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is ... to have with them as little political connection as possible."

"But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor grant exclusive favors or preferences...."

"...constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another, that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character...."

"There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion."

And Washington's goals for his words? " moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."

The man was a political prophet.

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