Monday, February 21, 2011

George Washington’s Farewell Address, part II: Other Talking Heads

      Our little town lay close to the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.  Our existence wasn’t as dire as those in “Grapes of Wrath”; energy was aimed toward productivity and survival. Also, folks didn’t bathe very often.  People had larger issues to deal with, and national politics was one. During the Great Depression, American’s were galvanized by what FDR and congress were doing.
      George Washing had great concerns about His nation, and he put his beliefs into action all of his adult life.  In reviewing precepts of different national figures, very few place the good of America above their own intents. Take a look at:
     The Four Freedoms of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union address, 01/06/ 1941, was about world government“.., everywhere in the world”. It became part of the Atlantic Charter following WWII.

     In the famous President John F. Kennedy “Ask Not what your country can do for you speech”, the president sees a greater role for the U.S. in world government, giving more aid to impoverished nations, create a new balance of power, and “my fellow citizens of the world”.
     There were two other very famous speeches influencing America’s search for Freedom.   Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the grand “I have a dream” at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s commencement address, “The Great Society”.
      Every politically developed speech asks each person give up something for someone else, which is a benevolent abstraction.  Not one prominent figure proved a concrete solution for American Citizens (of every race, religion, creed, or age) to achieve their prescribed intents.  At least two factors are entwined: provide skilled, marketable training for everyone, and eliminate the many obstacles for capitalistic endeavors.  John Taylor, one of the Founding Fathers, wrote, “A nation oppressed by taxes, can never be generous, benevolent or enlightened.”
     Frederick Douglass, a former slave and friend of President Abraham Lincoln, became one of the great American anti-slavery leaders of the 1800s. At a meeting of an anti-slavery society, 1865, he gave a speech, “What the black man wants”. In his remarks, Frederick Douglass was quite specific: a right to vote, equality, and pay taxes, fight for country, education, and skills to work. “If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live”. (pg 113; “Let Freedom Ring, “Sterling Publishing Company, New York.)
      Benjamin Franklin, also, commented about poverty: “I think the best way of doing good for the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

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