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Today is not “President’s Day” or “Presidents Day” or anything like that, certainly not in Virginia. The official name of the Federal holiday is “Washington’s Birthday,” and the official name in Virginia is “George Washington Day.” Much of the country seems to have forgotten why this particular day really matters. As Virginians – and residents of Washington’s home county, no less – we, especially, must remember why we honor George Washington above all other Presidents.
Volumes have been written about George Washington and his character, and how fortunate we are that he was waiting in the wings when the Continental Congress needed a general. Let me give you one striking example of Washington’s devotion to our republican form of government.
In March of 1783, the Continental Army was in camp at Newburgh, just up the Hudson from New York. The war for independence was over: peace terms had been negotiated, and all that remained was for the Continental Congress to ratify the treaty with Great Britain. But the Army was still a force in being, and its officers were restless – they were owed back pay, and Congress had not kept its promise to award lifetime pensions.
In this atmosphere, an anonymous letter appeared, calling for the Army to send Congress an ultimatum: an invitation to mutiny and perhaps civil war. A second letter called for a meeting of the officers to discuss a plan of action. Washington immediately denounced the planned meeting as “irregular” and instead called for a meeting of his own for a few days later.
George Washington had a great love of the theater, and on this occasion he proved his mastery of the art of drama as a tool of leadership. Having requested that he be given a report on the proceedings, which suggested he would not attend, the General surprised the assembled officers by appearing, and asking to address them.
The officers were angry, and Washington’s prepared remarks counseling patience failed to move them. But then, he seized the moment. After searching his pockets for a letter from a member of Congress promising action on the officers’ demands, Washington paused, as though he were having difficulty reading. He fumbled in his pockets again, pulled out his reading glasses, and said “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”
The effect was immediate and stunning. Reminded of the General’s own years of sacrifice, many of the men were in tears as he read the letter, and in that moment the conspiracy collapsed.
Imagine what might have happened, had somebody other than George Washington been in command – somebody with the temperament of Benedict Arnold, perhaps. Julius Caesar, Napoleon, countless other great men at the heads of armies have seized power throughout history. It is impossible to predict what might have happened had the incipient mutiny not been put down, or if Washington had chosen to lead a march on Philadelphia. We should all be grateful that we do not know the answer.
If any American, any President, deserves a day named after him, George Washington is the one.
Fairfax County Republican Committee
So, each year on Martin Luther King Day, let us not only recall Dr. King, but rededicate ourselves to the Commandments he believed in and sought to live every day: Thou shall love thy God with all thy heart, and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. And I just have to believe that all of us-if all of us, young and old, Republicans and Democrats, do all we can to live up to those Commandments, then we will see the day when Dr. King’s dream comes true, and in his words, “All of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, ‘… land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.’”
–Excerpt of Remarks by Ronald Reagan at the Signing Ceremony Declaring the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. November 2, 1983.
Tomorrow is President Obama’s State of the Union Address. In it, he is expected outline multiple big government, programs as well as new tax increases. Be sure to take to social media and explain why his liberal agenda is a bad idea for America.
It’s a worn out saying, but “Virginia is for lovers of elections.” We have them every year. Every seat in the Virginia House and Senate will be filled by voters in November. In the 8th District we will have elections for local offices as well.
If you are interested in running for office, please contact your local GOP Chairman.
Check out our upcoming events. If you can make it out on Saturday to send off retiring RPV Chairman Pat Mullins, I would love to see you there.
Virginia has been the scene of excruciatingly close races in the past few years.
In 2010 in the 11th District, Democrat Gerry Connolly beat Republican Keith Fimian by 981 votes out of 227,000 cast (0.43%).
In 2013 in the attorney general race, Democrat Mark Herring beat Republican Mark Obenshain by 907 votes out of 2.2 million cast (0.04%). This happened alongside the gubernatorial race where Democrat Terry McAuliffe beat Republican Ken Cuccinelli by 2.52%.
In 2014 in the 6th Senate District, Democrat Lynwood Lewis beat Republican Wayne Coleman by 9 votes out of 20,000 cast (0.04%).
In 2014 in the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Mark Warner beat Republican Ed Gillespie by 18,000 votes out of 2.2 million cast (0.81%).
And today in the 34th House District, Democrat Kathleen Murphy beat Republican Craig Parisot by 324 votes out of 12,000 cast (2.60%).
Notice a pattern? The Democrats won all these elections. Republicans have to step up and turn out to vote to start coming out on the right side of these close elections. Virginia is the definition of a swing state. In the case of the 2013 attorney general race, the election could have been swung by just one more Republican vote in each precinct. In the case of the 2014 state Senate race, the election could have been swung by one family turning out to vote Republican. In the case of today’s race, the election could have been swung by 325 Republicans stopping by their polling place and taking five minutes to vote.
It’s actually true: every vote counts.
If you live in Salona #1 Precinct, you have a special election for House of Delegates this Tuesday, January 6th!
The election is to fill the 34th House District seat vacated by Barbara Comstock, the new congresswoman for the 10th District. Salona #1 is the only 8th District precinct located in the 34th House District.
Our Republican nominee is Craig Parisot. He is a McLean entrepreneur, national security advisor, and an active volunteer with several non-profits. Read about him here.
To check your precinct, use the Virginia State Board of Elections voter tool. Enter your address, and in the text that appears below, locate the “Districts” header. (You may need to click the + button to view the information.)
The polls are open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. Salona #1 voters should go to Franklin Sherman Elementary School, 6630 Brawner Street, McLean (map).
The election is expected to be very close – Barbara Comstock won in 2013 against this year’s Democratic nominee, Kathleen Murphy, by just 422 votes. (You may remember Murphy for her nasty attacks on Comstock in 2013 and failing to pay her own taxes.) Please get out and vote for Craig Parisot!