What did President George Washington leave in his Farewell Address of 1796 that President Donald Trump should remind our nation today?
Answer: The requirements for political prosperity.
No, not political party victory, but political prosperity to keep America free from tyranny — the cruel, unreasonable and oppressive government which arbitrarily uses power to control its citizens. President Washington knew first-hand what tyranny was like having suffered under and later fought against the tyrannical rule of King George of England.
In fact, President Washington warned that if these dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity are not heeded, Americans will lose their property, their things, their belongings. He warned that if our countrymen abandon the foundation which leads to political prosperity, citizens will lose good reputations because no internal mechanisms will be in place to prevent the slandering of our character; accusers will lie and say wicked things about us. Our first president even cautioned that if “these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens” are not observed, the protection of our lives will not be secure; our lives will be in danger. Americans are experiencing the consequences of abandoning what President George Washington implored us to not forget.
What was in place back then which would safeguard an individual’s property, reputation and life itself and compel President Washington to write about it in his famous Farewell Address to remind us today?
President Washington declared that “Religion and morality are [those] indispensable supports.” Moreover, he explained that any man claiming to be patriotic toward America who works toward “subvert[ing] these great pillars of human happiness” is wasting his time and effort in claiming patriotism because “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” President Washington eloquently wrote that a person can have the best education, but “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” In other words, if people abandon faith in God, “national morality cannot prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
It was the belief in God that our Founding Fathers shared and the mutual understanding that we are accountable to Him. This belief in the Creator who gives us boundaries and rules to live by for our own good prevailed in our American society. In fact, the Ten Commandments used to be posted in every public school. Children learned that they should not lie or commit murder. They learned to not covet other people’s “things” and to honor their father and mother. In turn, the oaths given in a court of law ensured honesty because of swearing to God Almighty.
Imagine if President Washington could see our country today seeped in the moral decay of greed, rampant sexual immorality, shedding of innocent blood and unrighteous laws that expose our arrogance toward our Creator. He would see a country so duped by political correctness and men who claim patriotism who quite literally labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness. President Washington would have seen eight years of former President Barack Hussein Obama forcing upon this entire nation a false definition of marriage; of forcing legal child abuse by way of transgenderism; of forcing our military to “embrace” the sin of homosexuality. President Washington would see the greatest country ever oppressing the creative genius of man with laws, rules, and regulations stifling new business. He would see a country in which too many people have no concept of sacrificing their lives, fortunes and their sacred honor to keep this country from the grip of tyranny…they’d rather have big brother government, moral decay, hand-outs and mutual misery.
But for such a time as this, President Trump should boldly and confidently remind our country of President Washington’s politically incorrect advice about how to keep America free and politically prosperous:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
President George Washington, Farewell Address 1796