What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get About George WashingtonRoundup
tags: Mount Vernon, Donald Trump, George Washingtion
Peter Canellos is editor-at-large of Politico.
On March 4, 1797, George Washington did something that put him on a historic pedestal above Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte and every past conqueror and crowned head of Europe: He gave up power.
This wasn’t expected of him; most Americans hoped he would remain president—for life, if possible.
He chose instead to return to his farm at Mount Vernon. He yearned for home but also to establish enduring precedents for the nation whose independence he had helped painfully win: No man is bigger than the country. The office is more important than any president. Power is a privilege to be wielded and then handed to another.
When Donald Trump visited Mount Vernon with French President Emmanuel Macron last year, he reportedly commented: “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it. You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”
There are ironies on top of ironies in the father of Trump Tower offering posthumous advice to the father of our country. But the greatest of them is that, 220 years after George Washington’s death, his name is everywhere and remembered by everyone, largely because he chose not to maximize his own opportunities for self-promotion.
comments powered by Disqus
- Poland’s forgotten civil strife and the struggle for Jewish statehood
- Socialists were winning U.S. elections long before Bernie Sanders and AOC
- The House just passed a bill to create a women’s history museum. Only one congresswoman voted against it.
- For hundreds of years, enslaved people were bought and sold in America. Today most of the sites of this trade are forgotten.
- 2 New Books Examine the the History of Black Travel
- AHA Publishes 2020 Jobs Report
- Yuval Noah Harari's History of Everyone, Ever
- Historian Manisha Sinha Discussed Trump's Acquittal on 2 Episodes of Democracy Now
- Longtime University of Iowa Jeff Cox, 72, championed candidates and his kids
- "No Boy Scout": William Rust Publishes Article on CIA Operations Officer Lucien Conein