What Made George Washington Great?
I studied a lot of about George Washington a long time ago, and he pretty much represents a near-ideal man. No, he wasn't a saint, perfect in all ways, nobody is, but he was in fact modest, idealistic, practical, courageous, honest, determined in the face of long and terrible adversities, and committed to personal honor at a level rarely seen in his day and even rarer now. Some will still denigrate him because he was a rich White man who owned slaves, which is a modern day flaw in deciding to impose the standards of today on those in a very different time and culture and making that one thing somehow more important than everything else in a person's life. The phrase about throwing out the baby with the bath water comes to mind, and the demand for perfection by new standards pretty much means none of us could ever pass muster. (I keep thinking of one of the psalms, #130, the cry from the depths, that goes "Lord, if you count inequities, who can stand?") No historian will deny that of all the figures in the American Revolution, Washington was the sine qua non, without him, it would never have succeeded. He was the model for all Americans, indeed perhaps for all who value goodness and honor and the fight for what is right. But they aren't teaching much about him anymore, and that's a sad thing. The video is another really worthwhile one. --Del