Happy President's Day!
Today has been set aside as a day to remember two of our greatest Presidents. On this day we celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday on Feb. 12th and George Washington's birthday on Feb. 22nd. These two men are inarguably the greatest presidents our nation has ever seen.
One man created the Office and set the bar for being President. The other finished the work of our Founding Fathers in ensuring that all men truly are created equal.
Washington knew that as the first, he would be setting the precedence for the office and would be held up as an example. Luckily for our young country, he was a man of great honor and integrity. He saw the boundless possibilities of the nation and it's people, but saw, too, the potential for grasping men bent on exploiting that greatness. He came from a time when dictatorships were the rule, not the exception. It was his mission to prove that there could be another way.
For Lincoln, the mission was to live up to the spirit of the Constitution by ensuring the Blessings of Liberty to all. He had to practically destroy the country in order to do it, but it needed to be done, and we are stronger for it. The hard choices that he made allowed us to live up to our rhetoric of being a shining beacon of freedom and equality to the rest of the world. His bravery and unswerving devotion to the cause of freedom has made him a revered and beloved icon of American history.
As we celebrate these great men, let us study them and use them to compare and contrast potential leaders of the future. We need people of strong moral fiber who understand that kicking the can down the road is not a good strategy; eventually there is always a price to pay, and someone must step up and make the hard choices, political expediency be damned. We need people who revere the Constitution; those who see it not as a flawed document that needs revision for modern times, but as a magnificent document that has created the greatest country in the world, whose citizens enjoy an unprecedented level of freedom and prosperity.
We have been a remarkably blessed country. Not just in wealth and freedom, but blessed by the amazing people who have brought us to where we are today.
But we can't just sit around and wait to be saved. If someone can't be found, then perhaps We the People, having learned the lessons of the past from the great men who came before us, can light the path and save ourselves. That means staying awake, alert and vigilant; fulfilling the promise of the Constitution and returning this country to the ideals that made it great. There will be hard choices ahead, and possibly very tough times, but as Washington and Lincoln have taught us, some things are worth the sacrifice.
Our country has been through crises before and survived. I hate to think that people like Obama, Pelosi and Reid can bring us down. They are the types who expect us to crumble before their claims of 'consensus', give in to their engineering, be oblivious to their schemes. That is the problem with revising history - you are changing reality to fit your perspective, and sometimes reality has a nasty little slap to the face in store. They underestimate our intelligence, patriotism and fortitude at their peril. We are made of sterner stuff than that; we can survive anything they dish out and come out the other side victorious and the better for it.
With men like Washington and Lincoln as our models, we can't go wrong.
UPDATE: RealClearPolitics' Jay Cost has a great piece on George Washington.