The Rabid Conservative

Think Right, Act Right, Be Right.

The Conservative Underground – Day 73

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Did you watch President Bush’s farewell address last night?  If you are a liberal, I am pretty sure you didn’t, unless every other word Bush said, you would say, “Good riddance”.  It’s OK.  Obama didn’t watch either.  Turns out he was eating dinner at the very posh Equinox restaurant, not paying attention to what Bush had to say.  Yeah, he’ll listen/read it later but I guess it wasn’t all that important to him.

Well, for those of us who did, I do have to say, if you didn’t, well, you didn’t miss that much.  Sad to say, but President Bush’s final opportunity to address the American people was a sore disappointment.  This was his last chance to say what he had come to Washington to say back in 2000.  But yet, he squandered the time, defending his positions on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the economic crisis.  Instead of telling Americans with gusto and effectual, fervent spirit that their hard work, determination, and steadfastness will overcome any obstacle, it was not as glorious.  This speech won’t ring in the annals of the great monologues of all time.

So, to fill the void, I went and read the farewell address of President George Washington in 1796. And while Washington spoke with far greater eloquence and articulation than what we as a people are capable today (sorry, but it is too true), I was again moved by what he had to say, all those years ago.

I would encourage you to read it carefully: George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address

From that speech, four things stood out in my mind that I believe are very relevant to the American experience today.  Sadly, these are four things that we have forgotten as a people.

1) Spirit of Party – Washington warned that when the spirit of the party is encouraged, it affects, by force, public opinion and has a tremendous tendency to excess. In other words, partisanship goes too far and destroys any effort to make the country better, favoring supporting the party.

Part of me, a large part, is about to go down to the post office and re-register as an Independent. While I very much want to continue voting in caucuses and such, I’m finding that the GOP, and particular, the GOP in the Beltway, has no interest in conservative principles. Republicans have now, like Democrats, gotten drunk over the spending and the corruption that goes with it. Most all the decisions in the House and Senate are party-line votes and most of the country, I would wager, is fed up with both parties. Washington was right – we didn’t listen to him.

2) Religion, National Morality, and Moral Government – Oh how far we have fallen!  We have told the Almighty that He isn’t welcome in our governmental halls anymore. And while Washington asked His forgiveness for any mistakes that he might have made during his presidency, today, faith is something that is a liability to politicians.

It used to be that, as John Jay said, we should “prefer Christians”. After the first meeting of Congress to found the country, all members went across the way for a two hour prayer meeting.  Today, Congress gives  a little prayer and then completely forgets Him. (One only has to see the Capital Visitor’s Center to see how much God is suprisingly not present in our history – even though our monuments have Judeo-Christian influence all over them.

If politicians were actually moral, we might trust them more. But for them to have that morality, they must adhere to religious principles.  Yet, we dare not make such a suggestion, for who are we now to demand that someone live their lives according to God’s law?  Everyone has the right to choose their own path.  But yet, those that choose a path are often (particularly by liberals) ostracised for it.

Today, we have a president who would rather go to the gym and play basketball than to be in the House of the Lord.  And when he does darken the doors of a church, the church is run by a minister who hurls incendiary comments like, “US of K-K-K A”, “not God bless America, but God ____ America!”, and “America’s chickens have come home to roost” (comments made right after 9/11 by Jeremiah Wright).

3) Fiscal Responsibility – Washington noted that an important source of security and strength was to cherish public credit and to use it as sparingly as possible. He warned against accumulation of mass amounts of debt because when we borrow, we become subservient to the lender.

Today, how many people crave to be debt-free?  But yet, our country is now over $10 Trillion in debt, paying out bailout money to every bank, auto company, broker, and perhaps even porn shops, when they come with their hat in their hand. Nancy Pelosi is touting an $825 Billion stimulous – where’s that going to come from?

Washington was right – and again, we aren’t listening to his very wise words.

4) Manage foreign affairs conservatively – Washington warned that we should stay out of Europe and not interfere in the politics of any foreign nation. But how much now are we even dependent on Europe and how much do we interfere in the political affairs of other countries in the interests of promoting democracy and liberty? Europe is wholly socialist now.  We ran away from that over 200 years ago to found this country, to do things a different way, and now we’re bringing that same socialism here to America.  It didn’t work there, it won’t work here and we’ll lose our ‘different way’.

So folks, if you were like me and felt dismayed at last night’s speech, I would encourage you to read Washington’s speech and see that, if we are to really keep America alive for our kids, we have to turn off the TV, close our cell phones, walk away from our computers, and start learning from where we’ve gone wrong.

And things have gone wrong. Washington prophetically enumerated some of the major things for us. It’s up to us, really, to decide if we’re going to keep ignoring the mistakes of the past or learn from them.

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Written by The Rabid Conservative

January 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm

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