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Old December 8th, 2016, 12:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Asherman View Post
George Washington stands alone.


Respectfully, I totally disagree.

Due to our inherently rampant spirit of Independence, individualism, and even rebelliousness in this country, I do not think anybody can accurately claim we HAVE a national idol.

No...our collective zeitgeist prohibits it. Beginning with the founding fathers we all arecimbued with a lingering sense of distrust for authority, ad well as a recalcitrance to view anybody as an idol, or worthy of worship. Or, worthy of the title as being a symbol for the entire nation.

You would find few to agree with your choice, anyway. Most will agree with me. You are of course entitled to your opinion, but in this case you are dead wrong.

And, wow, among the younger generation, say, adults under 30, I bet you Washington would not make the top five. And I'm with them. After all, basically he was simply a war veteran who was appointed to an elected office. He served and came along at the right time. Ad I recall, he did not even want to be potus?

I also don't recall him being much of a philosopher or writer, such as Jefferson. Nor did he bring anything new to the table in the way of political science thought or ideas. Many could have accomplished what he did if given the opportunity.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 01:51 PM   #12

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Texas, if we can do states: has two that are a cut above the rest: Sam Houston and Davy Crockett.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 01:55 PM   #13

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Britain, as in 1707 Britain, would have to have Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, or Winston Churchill as its top national icon. Unfortunately it's subsumed England, which by all rights should idolise Athelstan or Alfred the Great.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 02:19 PM   #14

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Respectfully, I totally disagree.

Due to our inherently rampant spirit of Independence, individualism, and even rebelliousness in this country, I do not think anybody can accurately claim we HAVE a national idol.

I also don't recall him being much of a philosopher or writer, such as Jefferson. Nor did he bring anything new to the table in the way of political science thought or ideas. Many could have accomplished what he did if given the opportunity.
I thought that, too. We're too cynical to overlook the faults and frailties of anyone to allow them to be idols. Even John F. Kennedy, as much as I still like him, had a dark side that would keep him from being idolized.

Then Mr. Asherman came up with Geo Washington and, yes, he was idolized and deservedly so.

Nothing new to the table? As the first President, everything he did, every move he made was well thought out and was ultimately a precedent. There were no democratic republic governments to emulate, no model to follow. From recommending the title of "Mr. President" to creating the President's Cabinet to giving the State of the Union report required by the Constitution as a speech delivered delivered directly to Congress, all precedents. The formality of the office was defined by Washington. And he is still held in the highest esteem and beyond reproach to this day. Asherman nailed it.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 02:36 PM   #15

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Texas, if we can do states: has two that are a cut above the rest: Sam Houston and Davy Crockett.
No, you can't do "states". That is unless you go to the "American History" forum and begin a thread asking for the most respected or despised character in each miserable state. That should prove interesting!

Last edited by StoryMan; December 8th, 2016 at 02:50 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 02:36 PM   #16
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Texas, if we can do states: has two that are a cut above the rest: Sam Houston and Davy Crockett.
Houston was a slave-owner and anti-abolitionist.

Davy Crockett moved to Texas because he was upset that Martin Van Buren won the Presidential election.

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Old December 8th, 2016, 02:46 PM   #17

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Owain Glyndwr.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 02:55 PM   #18
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Texas, if we can do states: has two that are a cut above the rest: Sam Houston and Davy Crockett.
I am a Texan.

That said, Davey Crockett was from Tennessee.

Houston was indeed a founding padre, his whip ass on Santa Ana at the battle of San Jacinto after the Alamo was crucial.

I would add Stephen Austin to the group of Great Texans also.

Ah, but now I'm going off topic for this thread.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 03:05 PM   #19

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Without Washington, there would be no United States in the 21st century. He guided the under-dog American cause to the successful independence of the American Colonies. Urged to be more aggressive, Washington was wise enough to preserve his little band of soldiers who wore rags and left bloody footprints against a miserly Congress of the Confederation AND the more numerous British forces made up of professional soldiers. When the Battle of Yorktown was won, many urged him to declare himself Monarch. Very few men in history were strong enough to step away from Victory, to return to life of a regular citizen., I think Washington was relieved the War was over and he no longer bore the responsibility for the fate of so many.

The War was won on the battlefield in spite of Congress' inablility to work together. The Articles of Confederation, protected the sovereignty of the various States, and they were very jealous and suspicious of one another. When the War was won the only models for a new nation in modern times were the monarchies of the Old World, and the memory of how Rome and Greece were governed. Colonial leaders were quite happy to be on top o'the heap and their power was hooked to their State's power. They couldn't get along and their competition undermined the success of all. The economy sagged, and the size of the War Debt scared anyone who had the least wealth.

The Articles of Confederation had to be amended, but the delegates decided to start from scratch. To help legitimize their decision against piecemeal repairs they turned to the two most honored and revered heros of the War: Ben. Franklin and George Washington. The proceedings were secret, but the weight of opinion is that Franklin and Washington contributed little of substance and held themselves apart from the partisan arguments. Washington could have utilized the Butcher's Thumb to influence the outcome, but he didn't. Washington remained neutral during the campaign to adopt the Constitution, and when it came time to elect the very first President there were no one to challenge him for his courage, wisdom and dedication to the cause that Government is the servant of the People, and not the other way around.

The Constitution defines the duties, responsibilities and limitations of the Federal government. It is a short document, and its foundations in the English Common Law are evident. The three branches of government each have a role to play in preventing any one person, or group from ever gaining too much authority, or for very long. Congress and the Supreme Court are as intended limited by their inertia to act slowly if at all. The President, on the other hand controls the moment and can directly command the military, or change National Policy without lengthy discussion. Washington as President tried mightily to get the new Republic off to a good start. He chose for his cabinet solely on the basis of merit and dedication to the nation. Jefferson and Hamilton in the same Cabinet must of tried Washington's patience. By the end of his first term the nation was no longer on life support. The economy was rising throughout the country. The Fed assumed the State's War debts, and Hamilton's visions of manufacturing and a stable currency were essential. The Northwest Territories were opened up, and American's began to look westward to the frontiers.

Washington stayed of for a second term, and was begged to continue. He refused and happily turned over the powers of the Presidency to John Adams. Adams and Jefferson, oil and water, and yet they were life long friends in private. In politics they hurled epaphets, out outrageous lies, and distortions that are really rather common to American Politics. Washington had retired again, but by that time he was old and battered by the turbulent life he had led. Even in retirement, the Washingtons couldn't escape. Any one and every one wanted to drop in, often unannounced to tell the General how much they idolized him. He endured the paparazzi with good grace, and no one ever accused him of being a tightfisted host. When Washington died it was a shock to the entire nation. His image was everywhere, often in highly romanticized ways. Washington wearing a toga ala Augustus, or being born into Heaven by flights of Anges. Commemorative badges were struck and pulpits rang with his praises.

Among the many admirers of George Washington in no particular order: RE Lee, Lincoln, King George, Garibaldi, Dr. Sun Ya-tzn, Mao, George C. Marshal, ... you get the picture. Somehow the man's stature seems to pass from reality into legendary, yet he lived and from his efforts this nation was born and it remains dedicated to the idea that Governments derive their legitimacy from the People. The People may be unwise and make terrible decisions for worse reasons, but in their collective wisdom in the end the People will remain after the last government bureaucrat retires.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 03:20 PM   #20

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Owain Glyndwr.
Drat!! I was going to help my darling bride decorate the Cottage for the Holidays but now I have to look this up: Owain Glyndwr. There are no vowels in his surname!
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