The principles laid out by President George Washington in his Farewell Address serve as the ideal guide for leading America out of its present darkness. Washington gives valuable lessons on leadership: doing one’s duty in humility and service, not in vain pride and self-glorification. Washington expresses his gratitude, reminding the nation to be grateful to God for His many blessings.
He reminded the people that the American Republic can only thrive if the people are religious and moral. The Founding Fathers all supported the chief principle of character as destiny both for individuals and nations. Thus, the American people must have faith and self-control while choosing leaders of good character. The Republic cannot be maintained if the people are wicked and self-indulgent. Sadly, in the modern era, as the nation and culture have become increasingly immoral and anti-Christian, the nation has grown less free and the government more dominant over society.
Washington’s principles were not just specific for his time but universal ones that apply even more today. Washington understood both what was necessary for the Republic to thrive and how it could it fail. America became the world’s greatest by following his principles and has come into great trouble by disregarding his principles.
Foreign policy needs to avoid habitual hates and loves of other nations. Foreign policy must be pragmatic and flexible and avoid ideology and habits. Foreign policy and national security must be rooted in the national interest and the national interest only. Today the establishments of both parties have embraced the ideological approach of President Woodrow Wilson by pursuing nation-building and using foreign policy to advance the ideology of globalism instead of the nation’s true interests.
Along with Wilson’s ideology has come tremendous undue foreign influence, which Washington warned against. For decades both parties exported millions of jobs to China even though China was hostile to the United States. China used its dealings with American businesses to create a powerful pro-China lobby in Washington, D.C. Even now Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden wishes to return American to a pro-China foreign policy.
Washington encouraged trade with other nations but warned that trade agreements must serve the national interest and be upheld only by “good faith.” Washington did not want trade or trade agreements that made the nation dependent on other nations or that weakened national sovereignty by giving authority over trade to international groups. Today, trade policy is largely managed trade that is controlled by international bodies rather than principles of free trade.
America is increasingly being harmed by dangerous dependencies on rare earth minerals and medical supplies from hostile sources. Our sovereignty has been compromised in the authority given to international bodies that direct American trade and economic policy. For example, in 2016 the United States Congress repealed requirements for national origin labeling of food products, which was done at the order of the World Trade Organization.
Public policy must be guided by the national interest, or as the Constitution calls it, the “General Welfare.” No faction, or as is called today “special interest,” should be allowed to guide public policy. However, we now see in modern America how factions of special interests dominate public policy, and little regard is shown for the national interest.
Washington warned against partisanship, and not just about how it would hurt the government. He correctly understood partisanship would lead to political leaders dividing Americans against each other and poisoning the culture of the nation. Today his warnings have come true. The leaderships of both parties divide Americans deeply, and they use this as a tool to divert attention from the failings of the establishments of both parties and the deep-seated corruption in Washington, D.C.
As Washington saw it, the priority should be on national unity in which all Americans place the welfare of the nation and the health of the Republic before selfish pursuits. Further, Washington warned against attributing evil motives to other Americans without proof, especially whole blocks of Americans. Today, both establishments demonize the bases of the other party regularly, and this is handily supported by the corrupt and dishonest media.
Washington warned the Federal government must be fiscally responsible, avoid unnecessary debts and pay its debts a rapidly as possible. Washington understood running high debts was a threat to both the economic prosperity and the liberty of the nation. Today the modern government spends without limit and with no regard to the authority of the Constitution. The national debt threatens to debase the currency and to cripple the economy in the long run. The massive debts fuel the unbounded expansion of the government, making government the dominant force over American lives, threatening further to undo the liberty of our Republic.
Today the United States has gone against all the warnings of President Washington. As Washington’s wisdom enabled him to foresee how the Republic could fail, we see how America is clearly on the path to failure. But the nation still has hope and remains the most powerful nation on Earth.
We still have time to heed Washington’s warnings and turn from this current foolish path. The American people must tune out the false voices of the media and political establishments and return to the first principles of the Republic by embracing the vision and wisdom of the Father of our Nation.