Washington’s Farewell Address In Today’s Light

George Washington’s most famous speech was his farewell address. The following key points in this address have an even greater significance today as our nation faces its greatest challenges from both our own government and two political parties.

Key Points from Washington’s Farewell Address

  • Extolls the benefits of the federal government. “The unity of government…is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence…of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize.”
  • Warns against the party system. “It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration….agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one….against another….it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption…thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
  • Stresses the importance of religion and morality. “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?”
  • On stable public credit. “…cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible…avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt….it is essential that you…bear in mind, that towards the payments of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not…inconvenient and unpleasant…”
  • Warns against permanent foreign alliances. “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”
  • On an over-powerful military establishment. “…avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.”

Once again our founding fathers show us the path back to liberty. While our government and politicians label us as terrrorists, the label “patriot” and the principles for which America stand will always represent freedom.

David DeGerolamo

      
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