Salon Twists Washington’s Farewell Address
Salon Twists Washington’s Farewell Address
January 9, 2022
George Washington’s Farewell Address is one of those enduring American documents which stands for all time. Yet a Salon writer is using it as a screed to denigrate Republicans. Because progressives just can’t let go of January 6, just like they can’t let go of Donald Trump.
Writing that “George Washington’s Farewell Address has never been more important,” Salon writer Matthew Rosza adds:
“As Washington departed the Presidency, he left us a striking warning about how a dangerous demagogue might rise.”
And just whom might that demagogue be? Donald Trump, of course. And Rosza follows Joe Biden’s playbook by not naming Trump. Instead, he used Biden’s January 6 “dagger at the throat of democracy” harangue that our Toni dissected:
“This brings us back to Biden, who observed that the Capitol attackers “didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle. They came here in rage. Not in service of America, rather in service of one man.”
Imagine that: Joe Biden’s and George Washington’s speech being compared in the same article. But, this is Salon, isn’t it? They compare the genius of Washington with the witless meanderings of Biden as long as it serves their purpose. Which brings us to. . .
Referring back to Biden, Rosza quoted him from his January 6 Dagger-In-the-Throat diatribe:
“You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.”
And looky here! Rosza found a quote from Washington which conveniently fits. How prescient George Washington was!
“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.”
Did a bunch of Trump supporters break laws on January 6? Of course. However, Republicans are by-and-large people who respect authority and tradition. I’d bet that the percentage of conservatives who agree with the actions of the rioters is smaller than the fatality rate of healthy 20-somethings who contract Covid. Much smaller, as a matter of fact.
You know who didn’t care about obeying laws? The George Floyd riot brigades, which racked up 15 times more police injuries, 23 times more arrests, and damages that were 1300 times more costly than the January 6 mob. But Salon ignored that flouting of our laws.
Rosza pointed out that Washington worried about partisanship within the young nation, that “a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community” might take over the country. Here’s what Washington wrote:
“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.”
Oh, where to start with this.
Of course Rosza is talking about Republicans, and in particular followers of Donald Trump, but his hypocrisy stinks to high heaven. You want “small but artful and enterprising” types who are trying to run the country? I give you the Lords of Silicon Valley — like Google, which controls what you search for on the internet. Or social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, which decide whose speech is worth being heard. Often they use “fact checkers,” which conveniently decide if someone’s comments are “disinformation.”
And then there’s the mainstream media itself, which doesn’t even pretend to be non-partisan anymore. They exist to promote one narrative, and one narrative only: that of progressivism and the Democratic party.
But never mind all that. Rosza claims that an evil faction lies within the Republican Party. They will cheat in 2024 to get their leader, come hell-or-high water. It’s a fact, Jack:
“That seems an entirely reasonable description of Republican plans for the 2024 election, which they clearly intend to win by fair means or foul, including literally overturning the result if their chosen “chief” loses again.”
Please, Mr. Rosza, tell us which Republican leaders have signaled an intention to cheat. We’ll wait.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington expressed his desire that the nascent United States follow religion. It’s necessary for public morality, he wrote:
“And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
But what does Rosza write? That religion is 18th century pablum. It has no place in contemporary society, especially amongst the intelligentsia:
“Washington’s message touches on a number of subjects, and there’s no use pretending that all of it fits with contemporary liberal or progressive politics. He firmly believed that religion was essential to public morality. . .”
Because brushing off Judeo-Christian beliefs has worked out so well for our social order, hasn’t it?
Apparently that was the part of Washington’s address that we can just ignore.
Salon should be ashamed of twisting George Washington’s enduring words to serve their narrative. They should also be embarrassed to have compared Washington to the dim bulb Joe Biden. But Donald Trump continues to dwell in their every conscious thought. For them every day is January 6, too. But don’t expect this narrative to go away anytime soon. They think they’re better than us, and these navel-gazers enjoy such smugness too much to stop writing such gibberish.
Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!
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