Washington believed in the republic, but wasn’t a republican.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by deepthunk, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. deepthunk

    deepthunk Justadude with a keyboard

    Feb 19, 2011
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    I posted this as a response under another topic; however I felt it warranted its own thread.
    Perhaps I am mistaken but it would appear that some may have missed the true meaning and significance of this particular quote. Having lived under the rule of British monarchy, Washington had seen firsthand the abuses of government power unchecked, and his concern for the overreach of government power as an affront to individual liberty can be demonstrated with other quotes.

    “Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

    Please note that Washington is of course referring to the system of government known as a republic where the individual has certain inalienable rights, not the Republican Party. Clearly Washington was concerned about the government excising the military against its own people in order to oppress the people and impinge upon personal freedoms. This can be demonstrated with the quote:

    “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.”

    This does not mean that Washington believed government to be inherently bad; clearly Washington understood the necessity of government to protect the rights and freedoms of a nation’s people as he fought to establish the federal government of the United States as detailed in the constitution. Washington flatly states this by saying:

    “The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon. “

    Furthermore, Washington’s views on taxation were clearly directly in opposition to the position of modern conservatives. Clearly Washington understood that an adequate and capable government is necessary to protect the rights and freedoms of individual citizens, and that protecting those rights is a primary responsibility of governments.

    “The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government. “

    Clearly Washington did not share the Ayn Rand based philosophy of modern conservatives who feel the wealthy shouldn’t pay taxes, in fact Washington said:

    “It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it. “

    If a majority of the nation’s citizen’s feel that a certain level of taxation is necessary to support a government adequate to the task of protecting the best interests of the nation, we can safely assume he would have supported the citizens, as he said:

    “The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. “

    Additionally, I think we can safely assume that Washington wouldn’t have held with 2% of the wealthiest citizens having such control of government as he also said:

    “Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.”

    In fact I think I’m going to add a couple of those quotes to my signature, after all I wouldn’t want George Washington to be taken out of context again.:eusa_snooty:
  2. cutter

    cutter Gold Member

    Oct 17, 2010
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    I believe he said EVERY citizen that enjoys the benefits of our free society should pay some portion of their property to the government. What about the 52% of citizens that pay nothing? Don't they enjoy the same freedoms that the wealthy enjoy. He said everyone not just the wealthy. When you start taxing the 52% that pay nothing you will really see a call for smaller government and less spending. Geo. Washington sounds like A TEA PARTY guy.
  3. Mad Scientist

    Mad Scientist Feels Good! Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
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    More George Washington quotes:

    It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.

    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

    Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.

    The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.

    The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.

    The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

    The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.

    To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.

    There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate, upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
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  4. code1211

    code1211 Senior Member

    Apr 8, 2009
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    I don't know enough about the specific beliefs of Washington to know for sure that you are taking them out of context, but I am a Conservtive and you have missed my beliefs by a mile. By association, I will infer that you have done the same disservice to Washington.

    It's probably safe to say that all of the Founders and Framers would not know the country as compared to the one that they lived in. One thing is certain. They were all very committed to the idea of States Rights and would be appalled at the centralization of power in the DC.

    I'm pretty sure they would see little difference between moving the power to Washington or to London. In either case it has moved from the states and that is where they assumed it would reside.

    If you have a point to make, why not make it?

    Running around the bush trying to put words into the mouths of dead patriots is a fools erand. You would be wise to not prove we have the right man performing the duty.
  5. whitehall

    whitehall Platinum Member

    Dec 28, 2010
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    Western Va.
    Americans wanted to crown him king. He understood back then that the rabble sometimes gets confused about hope and change.

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