George Washington was a model of civility and selfless dedication to his new nation. An article in today’s on-line edition of the Christian Science Monitor reminds us that lawmakers could use a reminder or two about how our first president dealt with the contentious issues in the first federal government.
” … As in war so in peace, the stoic leader kept his civility and self-restraint, always seeking a greater good while finding a way to give political opponents a way to save face,” writes the Monitor‘s editorial board. “His actions often spoke loudly, such as when he did not seek a third term. He thus set a precedent on the peaceful transfer of power in a democracy and in sending a signal that the country should not put too much stock in one person.”
Perhaps President Obama could improve things by not putting so much stock in one person, namely himself. He could walk away from his adamant refusal to negotiate with his political opposition. Democrats and Republicans could then at least toy with the idea of discussing compromises that could resolve a situation that is an embarrassment to the citizens of this nation, once considered an example of working democracy to the rest of the globe.
Or, perhaps the president and key leaders in Congress could meet at Mount Vernon, Washington’s home. His new presidential library recently opened a leadership institute for the training of civic leaders. All parties could benefit from a refresher course.