Every February, we celebrate George Washington’s birthday because he was the father of our country.
Washington was a good father. He set a high personal standard of honesty and integrity. He led by example. He rejected power for the sake of power. He could be trusted. Without his rock-hard integrity, we might not have survived as a free nation.
After Washington led our rag-tag army to victory over the most powerful nation on the globe, some American military leaders wanted to make him King. Washington squelched these efforts. Instead, he resigned his commission as the commander of the army and returned to his farm. There would be no king, said the man who could have been king.
When King George heard the news over in Britain, he didn’t believe it. What man would win a revolution and then, with an entire nation his for the taking, refuse to grab that power? If it were true, remarked King George, “Then Washington is the greatest man in the world.”
Since that time, many nations have been formed with noble words about freedom and rule by the people. Too often the men entrusted with guarding that freedom couldn’t be trusted. Their lust for power led them to betray their countrymen.
We’re free today because of the trail our country’s father blazed for us not only as a great military and political leader, but as man of integrity who loved freedom so much more than power.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.