As regular readers of this space know, I do not celebrate “Presidents’ Day.” I celebrate President Lincoln’s and President Washington’s Birthday. Presidents’ Day is nonsense; it is a meaningless holiday that honors a political office, not an individual person who is deserving of celebration. It would be like celebrating Prime Ministers’ Day or Kings and Queens’ Day, or Tsars’ Day.
The idea of a Presidents’ Day does another ludicrous thing: It treats all presidents equally. It implies all U.S. presidents are equally worthy of celebration. It is an extension of the egalitarian idea that everyone has exactly the same worth. It’s similar to giving out trophies to the losers as well as the winners (as we have been doing in public school sports for a couple of generations now, unfortunately).
Celebrating Presidents’ Day suggests that no one president is any better than any other president, and therefore they are all equally deserving of recognition. That is to say Jimmy Carter was just as good a president as Abraham Lincoln, and Bill Clinton brought just as much honor to the office as did George Washington. Yeah, right. To believe such hogwash, you need to have graduated from one of our liberal universities where egalitarianism is taught and worshiped.
This year in honor of the birth of George Washington, a president who truly deserves recognition, I offer some of his most inspiring quotes. These quotes go back over two hundred years, so although they may not always be easy to read, the wisdom of his words are still abundantly clear. I think you’ll get the gist. Happy birthday, President Washington!
It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Thanksgiving Proclamation, Oct. 3, 1789
However political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sept. 17, 1796
I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address to the People of the United States
Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Charles M. Thruston, Aug. 10, 1794
The ways of Providence being inscrutable, and the justice of it not to be scanned by the shallow eye of humanity, nor to be counteracted by the utmost efforts of human power or wisdom, resignation, and as far as the strength of our reason and religion can carry us, a cheerful acquiescence to the Divine Will, is what we are to aim.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Colonel Bassett, April 25, 1773
No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, first inaugural address, April 30, 1789
To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, first annual address to Congress, Jan. 8, 1790
If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, fifth annual address to Congress, Dec. 13, 1793
I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, circular to the states, June 8, 1783
It is important … 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 in the exercise of the Powers of one department to encroach upon another.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, farewell address, Sept. 19, 1796
An army of asses led by a lion is vastly superior to an army of lions led by an ass.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, attributed, The Long Gray Line