By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
??? Every American once knew that George Washington was born on February 22, and that he was the “Father of our Country.”?? On that day every year, we remembered how this nation exists only because George Washington existed.?? And we learned how his entire life was a model for how every free citizen should act.
??? When George Washington was 11 years old, his dad died, and left most of his money to three kids from a previous marriage.?? George Washington’s mom was left nothing but a small farm.?? She did not ask for charity or government assistance.?? Instead, she cut back on George’s schooling, so he could help her and five younger children work their farm.
??? At age 15, George Washington left home to learn the surveying trade.?? At age 16, Washington led survey parties through the unexplored woods of Kentucky and West Virginia hundreds of miles from any settlement.?? By age 17, George Washington was the prosperous owner of his own survey business.?? How many teens today could handle that responsibility?
??? At age 20, Washington joined his local national guard unit.?? At age 21, he became its major.?? At age 22, Washington led 150 men into the woods of West Virginia to stop French troops moving south from what is now Pittsburgh.??
??? Washington’s men attacked the French in 1754, and touched off a nine year war around the world between England and France.?? Washington’s bravery, leadership, and organizing skills became famous throughout America.?? He was soon put in charge of all British and American troops in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
??? When the war was over, 31 year old Washington tried to be a career officer in the British army.?? But he was rejected by the ruling London aristocrats as a “mere colonial” from America.?? Washington met the culture of Europe, where family and personal connections meant more than talent and achievement.
??? Washington married instead, using his talents and energy to expand and improve his wife’s farm.?? He applied new scientific and engineering techniques, and switched from tobacco to wheat to make his farm one of the most productive and profitable in the world.?? He also processed and exported his wheat and bought a commercial fishing fleet.?
??? This put Washington into conflict with the corrupt British politicians who controlled America’s economy.?? They claimed their regulations promoted “economic development” of the empire, but they only enriched themselves and a handful of insiders.?? American farmers and fishermen like George Washington were forced to sell to English merchants at low prices, buy at high prices, and spend a fortune on lawyers, lobbyists, and middlemen to get all sorts of permits and approvals.?
??? When the patriots of Boston rebelled against Britain in 1775, George Washington rushed up from Virginia to join them.?? By then, Washington was like Donald Trump – one of the richest men in America.?? But by joining the Boston rebels, Washington put everything he owned at risk, along with his life.???
??? In 1776 and 1777, Washington overcame defeats and setbacks that would have crushed lesser men.?? When he achieved victory eight years later, the grateful nation offered to make him king.?? But Washington refused and went home.
??? Three years later, each of the 13 independent states crippled the nation’s economy by charging out of state residents expensive tolls to use their roads and waterways, George Washington came out of retirement to fix things.?? He proposed a new Constitution with a national government to control state tolls on commerce.?? Washington then served eight years as President, and again went home.?? By example, Washington taught Americans that they must learn how to run their own country, and not depend on powerful leaders to save them.?? Washington spent the last years of his life drafting an estate plan that bypassed his relatives and made each of his 317 slaves free and financially independent upon his wife’s death.
??? Today, we no longer recognize February 22 as Washington’s birthday.?? We have a different day each year, so government employees get another three-day weekend.?? And we now call the holiday Presidents Day, so failures like Bill Clinton, George Bush, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter are honored just for getting elected.
??? I prepared a 45 minute enrichment program on American Liberty that tells the stories of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.?? If you want a copy of the lesson plan and want me to make that presentation to your kids’ school, please contact me.??
For more information, visit www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at email@example.com or 609-927-7333.?? Seth Grossman hosts a two-way talk radio program every Saturday from 8am – 9am on WVLT Vineland, 92.1 FM.