Sunday, June 06, 2010

Guest Blogger: George Washington's Limits

(Written by Aravis)

George Washington started his career as a surveyor, measuring off how much land belonged to a certain person. As a teenager, he was already learning the value of limits and boundaries, which would later become important in his political career. He was a soldier for several years, participating in the French and Indian War as well as the American Revolution, during which he rose to national attention. He helped to create the nation in the Constitutional Convention, where he was the head of the meetings.

Washington was what is now referred to as a “control freak”, but not in the usual meaning. He wanted complete control of himself, not others, and had set precise rules for himself since he was a child. This may have influenced him when he advocated a government with limited control over the individual – he believed people should be in charge of themselves, but knew that some civil government was necessary to deal with those who would not deal with themselves.

Technicalities for the role of President were still being hammered out when Washington assumed the position. If he had not been the right sort of “control freak”, the job of President could be drastically different today, because he was the one who shaped it. But he was aware of the human lust for power and also of the damage it could do, and kept himself from doing anything that was not for the good of his country. The limits he set for himself helped shape the entire nation.

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