Towards the preservation of your government… it is requisite…that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles…One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown.
From the Publisher
George Washington was born Feb. 22, 1732, and on the occasion of his birthday it is worth a moment to ask ourselves, Why do we pause as a nation to celebrate this man?
My wife has drilled into my head that it is too easy to let occasions pass without giving them the importance they’re due. For our own good it is worth a moment to ask ourselves, What did this man, whom many refer to as the father of our country, take care to be sure that we did not forget?
Prior to leaving office near the end of our first president’s second term, he penned his Farewell Address, in which he included a number of warnings about our nation’s future. Here is one:
It is important, (for the branches of government) … to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another.
One area where we see this lately is in the matter of presidential power. Richard Epstein, writing on the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal Feb. 13th, called George Bush to task for claiming that an “‘inherent commander in chief power’ let the president act on his own.”
To the contrary, Epstein argues that “Congress has the explicit power ‘to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.’ … Congress’s power applies in both peace and wartime, and is subject to no express limitations on the nature and content of its general rules.”
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A prevalent outcry in recent years is about over-reaching judges legislating from the bench – interpreting laws the way they wish they were written, rather than according to the wishes of our elected representatives. This has been most pronounced in the areas of abortion, gay issues, and property rights.
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What did Washington intend us to do when the things he warned us take place? We do what free people always do – we exercise obligations we have as free people: speak; write; and vote.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRESIDENT WASHINGTON…and thank you.
Art Hall, publisher
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