Do two centuries and 44 presidents lead us to … this?

federalwashington

I was in New York City this weekend, so I made a pilgrimage down to Federal Hall in lower Manhattan. The site was our nation’s first capitol under the Constitution; on those grounds, George Washington was inaugurated as the first of our 44 presidents. Federal Hall was also the site of the convening of the first Congress under the newly adopted Constitution. There, under the leadership of James Madison and others, Congress adopted the Bill of Rights and sent it to the 13 colonies for approval.

Today, a giant statue of Washington, right hand outstretched to sit on a Bible as he took the oath of office, looms over the site. It’s the kind of place that naturally sets you to musing about how far we’ve come as a country and where we might be heading, and these days that isn’t always a comforting topic.

As far as I know, for example, Washington was not the sort of man who needed to boast in public about his “hand size.” Nor is there any record of him posing as his own PR man so that he could brag shamelessly in the third person about all the young women that he had bedded. “Play not the Peacock,” Washington admonished himself in the notebooks that he kept as a young man.

“Let your conversation be without malice or envy …. Use no Reproachfull Language against any one, neither Curse nor Revile,” Washington wrote in those notebooks. “Detract not from others, neither be excessive in Commanding.”

We are in danger of gravitating toward a different sort these days.

Later, as president, Washington sought to build a nation “which gives to bigotry no sanction – to persecution no assistance,” as he put it in a letter to a Jewish congregation in Connecticut.  In a letter to prominent Roman Catholics, also a persecuted sect at the time, he expressed the ambition that “As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow, that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the Community are equally entitled to the protection of civil Government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality.”

And many years later, with his health failing after long service to his country as soldier and statesman, Washington announced his final departure from public life. In his famed Farewell Address, he tried to warn his fellow Americans of the dangers that he foresaw, including the danger that political parties could 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.”

Standing at the site of his inauguration more than 200 years later, gazing up at the heroic Washington, I’d say that we have so far done pretty well in heeding his warning and in making real his ambitions for his country that “all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the Community” are entitled to its protection. But it’s also true that those are challenges that every American generation must face anew, and it would take just one monumental failure to put it all at risk.

 

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923 comments
Rick Lingerfelt
Rick Lingerfelt

"loonie lefties" are terrified that Trump can win...

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

“There is simply no relation between the struggles that Black Americans have faced and the desire of a tiny minority group to violate the dignity and privacy of women and girls,” said Rev. Bill Owens.  “To suggest some sort of equivalence is a gross insult to all of those who marched with Dr. King and faced fire hoses and hatred in the name of equality.”

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Does Hillary lose both primaries today?  The bigger question is, as she loses, does she still get the most delegates?

rimsky
rimsky

@DownInAlbany Why don't you wait till after night fall instead trying to make conversation with 'if' and 'buts'.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany

Your concern for the Democrats' primary process' representational efficacy is touching.


/upstairs funk-you-up

Peachs
Peachs

"As labor markets tighten, employers are having a harder time finding applicants free of drugs, especially marijuana."  NY Times


I always have a tendency to sort things out ,as if all people lived in my world and worked off my base of facts.  I never include drugs in the formula, but it would explain a lot of  this Trump appeal and as I hate to say it, Sanders.  


I love Sanders, but even he admits he has no control over his followers and can't guarantee a delivered constituency to Hillary. 

Peachs
Peachs

"The presumptive Republican nominee has been attacking Hillary Clinton from the left on the minimum wage, taxes, national security and her ties to Wall Street." NY Times


This is where the new votes are going to come for Trump.  The GOP has put a liberal into the water, and Trump ,desperate to win, will move as far left as any Republican since Rockerfeller, has dared. 


The Republican block has to vote for him ,they hate Hillary so bad, so why not go rogue what do you have to risk.  And Georgia you  will have absolutely no representation in Washington. This guy is throwing you under the bus, unless you belong to a union. Your vote is a given. 

Peachs
Peachs

What do we think about a all woman ticket with Hillary?

Peachs
Peachs

@Finn-McCool that is the problem with a lot of senators in the Democrat Party, we have a chance to turn the senate and need them on the front lines. 



Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Peachs

Don't see why that shouldn't be considered by Team Hils, if they can recruit a suitable candidate. That said, I don't really want Warren demoted to VP unless I can be convinced that there is someone available to fill her sensible shoes in the Senate.

And I doubt I can be convinced.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

No, warren is needed in the senate. She does more good being there than as a vp.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Peachs @Visual_Cortex  "what people don't understand is Mass is no push over, they actually have a two party system." 

It cracks me up when some of the RWers on the blog talk about MA being a completely D state.  In the last 25 years, 4 out of 5 governors, including the current one, were R's. 

Peachs
Peachs

@Visual_Cortex @Peachs what people don't understand is Mass is no push over, they actually have a two party system. 


Unlike the place we live in and having a person in the senate there is very important. 

Peachs
Peachs

The VP picks will decide this thing. 


You have two super old candidates, one or both won't make it pass the next term. 

Hobie Jones
Hobie Jones

Jay you are headed for a nervous breakdown. There are therapists out there who may be able to help you.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

After a pleasant night's sleep, I will respond with more detail as to WHY I had said to Donnie Pinko that he thinks of Hillary Clinton's political mind without nuance.  (And thereafter he erroneously indulged in surface name calling of how my mental processes work, which I am here challenging the correctness and validity of his assessment regarding my own mind's mental processes.)

--------------------------------------

To Donnie, this morning: Time is limited and precious, but I need to correct your erroneous thoughts. As you well know, Donnie, these were your words to me regarding Hillary Clinton which caused me to assess your weak analytical skills as I did, related to Hilliary's political mind.


Below, you had written of Hillary Clinton,"I loathe everything about the type of politics that she represents."  Thus, I  responded to your  emotional and hyperbolic thought: "No nuance in your thinking, Donnie, regarding Hillary."   Your word "everything" includes 100% of "everything," and that type of sloppy thinking, imo, is a  gross, not refined, understanding of how Hillary Clinton's political mind works. 

omark
omark

@MaryElizabethSings Matthew 7:6

Just a thought, but at some point try talking to rocks. They’re more intelligent.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@omark @MaryElizabethSings


Thanks for your wise counsel, omark, as well as for the Bible verse Matthew 7:6, below:


"Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you."


I shall try to heed your advice, given to me in kindness, in the future.

omark
omark

No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost.

Abraham Lincoln, from his first annual message.

The term upward mobility is used to describe a person’s ability to rise above the level to which he was born. It is the cornerstone of the American dream. Today Europeans, born into poverty, are much more likely to get ahead than their American counterparts. Not surprising considering the fact that we’ve become the land of student debt, and payroll loan shops.

The Donald laughs at the notion that he was given special privileges. He insist that his father only gave him a million dollars to start out with. Clearly the man was born in a log cabin, he built with his own two hands. 

Peachs
Peachs

@stefpe @Peachs @MaryElizabethSings @omark I think television and movies help a lot too. 


Just haven't seen a big push to include Muslims.


I remember one of my favorite shows Downton Abbey, had to kill the dog in the script, because his unfortunate name was ISIS. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@stefpe @MaryElizabethSings @omark


No wishful thinking from Mike Gonzalez. Gonzalez had researched his contention before writing about it.  His article was published  in last Saturday's AJC, as an op-ed in place of that of Charles Krauthammer for that day. I hope that you will find it and read his column in full.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@omark


However, America does have one advantage over European nations and that is that, according to journalist at the Heritage Foundation, Mike Gonzalez, America assimilates her Muslim population into her overall population (as the melting pot of the world) more effectively and more quickly than do many European nations, which has helped America not create as many homegrown terrorists as has European nations.


However, with Donald Trump as America's President that present policy to Muslim immigrants to America would more than likely reverse itself, to America's disadvantage.  Vote for Hillary Clilnton.

stefpe
stefpe

@MaryElizabethSings @stefpe @omark I suppose I'm probably biased against the Heritage foundation. But just looking at the Metro ATL area, I'm really not so sure Muslims are all that assimilated. Granted, you can probably find Muslims in your neighborhood but that's true in Europe too. In reality, it seems to me that most live in places like Clarkston and certain parts of Gwinnett county.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@stefpe @MaryElizabethSings @omark


Everything is relative.  Gonzalez did research that proved that Muslims in European nations are not as assimilated into their populations as are the Muslims in America.  Normally, I, too, am suspicious of thought coming from the Heritage Foundation, but Gonzalez's research and his idea of how to minimize home grown terrorists got my attention and I found, to my surprise, that Gonzalez's article was a worthy intellectual analysis and a well-written column.

Peachs
Peachs

@stefpe @MaryElizabethSings @omark I think illegal immigration will be the quickest because they have a Christian base and support in the country from the Catholic Church. And the farmers in south Georgia need them. 

Peachs
Peachs

@stefpe @Peachs @MaryElizabethSings @omark I could see one of my granddaughters actually marrying a descendant of the illegal immigration class, after a few generations they will melt in, even in the south, not so with the Muslin.  


My parents were from the depression generation, the only thing that kept them civilized was a common faith in God.  


I got some cousin that didn't come out of that depression so lucky. They mixed alcohol with Baptist religion, a bad combo. 

stefpe
stefpe

@Peachs @stefpe @MaryElizabethSings @omark Once you put all the kids in the same schools, all kinds of crazy things start happening. You know, crazy things like they'll start hanging out based on common interests rather than skin color etc.

Crazy, I know.

stefpe
stefpe

@omark "his father only gave him a million dollars to start out with"

It sure must have been rough.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@stefpe @omark

Especially rough when two decades later, Daddy had to spot him three million more to fend off creditors on a failing casino's bond payment.

gotalife
gotalife

trump would do like reagan and release the bull.


Collapse.

gotalife
gotalife

"Clinton wants to strengthen existing financial regulation".

It collapses on the gop's watch.


The Clinton economy is the best economy.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@gotalife 

"Clinton wants to strengthen existing financial regulation".

It collapses on the gop's watch.

-

Uh huh, except when it's Bill Clinton signing into law the repeal of Glass-Steagall gutting the last remnants of 1930s banking regulation.