George Washington Had It Right
By Charley Reese
-- -- Have you ever thought how
peaceful and prosperous we would be if our national leaders had
followed the advice of George Washington in his "Farewell
For starters, we would not be hopelessly in debt, and there
would not be so many Americans buried in national cemeteries and
in distant lands. Nor would we be as hated as we are today in so
many countries, where new polls show people not only dislike
American foreign policy and the American government, but are now
deciding they don't like the American people.
Washington's recommended policy can be summed up as armed
neutrality, the same policy Switzerland practices. While the
rest of the world participated in a slaughterhouse during the
20th century, the Swiss remained at peace.
Washington was a very wise man. He said that no country can be
trusted beyond its own self-interests. He said that habitual
friendship toward a foreign country is as dangerous as habitual
enmity. The policy of America should be trade with all but
entangling alliances with nobody. The quarrels and vendettas in
other parts of the world were none of our business, he said. As
far as trade goes, all countries should be treated equal, with
no favors granted to any of them.
He warned against foreign influence, calling it a poison to
republican government. While he was no doubt thinking of the
French, his advice applies to Israel. No foreign country should
be allowed to influence American policy because that country
will always seek to influence policy to favor its interests, not
ours. If we followed Washington's advice, the only thing we
would be sending to the Middle East would be oil tankers and
We could build a military force that could deter attacks on this
country for a fraction of the cost we spend on trying to
maintain an empire with about 745 military bases in 120 foreign
countries. The only people who might attack us are a gang of
terrorists, and, of course, our massive military machine is not
equipped to deal with them.
As for domestic policy, Washington said the best way to preserve
the union was to obey the Constitution and to never tolerate any
branch of government usurping the Constitution's power. He said
that a republican form of government required a virtuous people,
and since religion is the best way to instill virtue in the
masses, anybody who was an enemy of religion was an enemy of
All of that is pointless now, because we no longer have a
republic — or a virtuous population, for that matter. We have an
empire. We have a federal government that does nothing more than
pay lip service to the Constitution, if that. Elections are
decided by money, not by the people. Greed, self-indulgence and
commercial entertainment seem to be the main motivations of a
goodly number of our people. We will, as all empires have, bleed
ourselves in foreign wars and domestic tyranny until we
collapse. President Bush is a heck of a lot closer to Nero than
he is to George Washington.
Too bad, because we could be such a happy place if we had sense
enough to mind our own business and to elect men and women who
would obey the Constitution. We have no legal authority, no
moral authority and certainly no divine authority to interfere
with the internal affairs of any other nation. It should not
matter to us what kind of governments other people have or what
their cultures are. There is nothing in the Constitution to
authorize the federal government to tax Americans and then write
checks to foreign countries. There is nothing in the
Constitution that authorizes the president to take us to war.
That is a power reserved exclusively to Congress. The
Constitution also requires a warrant based on probable cause
before the government can spy on us or search our homes and
Americans ought to read their Constitution, if for no other
reason than to see what kind of government they are missing.
It's written in very plain English and is easy to understand.
© 2006 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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