Ridpath on George Washington's Virtues

ARI op-ed columnist John Ridpath has written a moving tribute to the first of American presidents, titled “America Needs a Leader Like George Washington.”

On Presidents’ Day, Americans have an opportunity to reflect on its Presidents?past and present?and particularly on those who have been great leaders. History is replete with examples of charismatic power-lusting “leaders” directing mindless and obedient legions on campaigns of suppression and destruction. But America’s great leaders have been different.
America has often been blessed, in times of crisis, with principled, moral leaders, directing this nation against history’s tyrants and in pursuit of freedom and the rights of man.
Now, once again facing a crisis, America searches for great leadership. Awash in a morass of moral compromise, poll-taking, and hesitation to offend world opinion, Americans desperately seize on any hint of strength, of moral certainty, of a refusal to swim with others in the swamp of compromise, empty rhetoric and threats that now passes for “leadership” in Washington, D.C.
Where can Americans turn, to witness the spectacle of great leadership?
On Presidents’ Day, this country should look, for inspiration and conviction, to America’s greatest leader, George Washington.
Washington, in company with the other Founding Fathers of America, was a son of the 18th century Enlightenment. His vision of America was one of responsible, independent, free, and hard-working citizens, prospering in a system of political and economic freedom. He believed that America would become a beacon of liberty and justice to men everywhere.

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