American Minute with Bill Federer SEPT. 19 - 'Ambitious...men will...subvert the Power of the People and...usurp...the reins of Government'
American Minute with Bill Federer
SEPT. 19 - 'Ambitious...men will...subvert the Power of the People
and...usurp...the reins of Government'-Washington's Farewell, 1796
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolken described man's insatiable lust for "the ring of power."
history, kings killed to get power and kings killed to keep power. In a
real sense, George Washington had the power...and gave it up...twice.
The first time was when he resigned his commission as General of the Continental Army in 1783.
the American-born painter Benjamin West was in England painting the
portrait of King George III, the King asked what General Washington
planned to do now that he had won the war.
"They say he will return to his farm."
King George exclaimed:
"If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."
Later, after serving two terms as President, Washington decided to return to his Mt. Vernon farm.
was similar to Roman leader Cincinnatus, who twice led the Roman
Republic to victory in battle then returned to his farm, resisting the
temptation to be dictator.
The world watched in unbelief as President George Washington delivered his Farewell Address, SEPTEMBER 19, 1796, stating:
all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man
claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great
"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion...
Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle...
is a necessary spring of popular government...Who that is a sincere
friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the
Washington warned further:
of fatal tendency...to put, in the place of the delegated will of the
Nation, the will of a party; - often a small but artful and
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 the themselves the reins of Government;
destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion..."