Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Truth About George Washington

In the recently released, Conceived in Liberty, Volume 5: The New Republic by Murray Rothbard, he writes:
In October 1786 Virginia was the first state legislature that approved the call for a convention for constitutional revision, and it did so overwhelmingly. In a tactical masterstroke James Madison and Alexander Hamilton persuaded the enormously prestigious George Washington to agree to place himself at the head of Virginia’s delegation, and he later became presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention. As the front man, he put his unquestioned reputation at the service of the nationalist designs. No more apt evaluation of Washington’s character and role at the convention has been written than this delightfully caustic appraisal: 
In the volume, he then quotes from  E Pluribus Unum by Forrest McDonald:
Washington, at fifty-four (or at any other age), could have added little to the intellectual average of any convention, and his knowledge of what to do in one barely extended beyond rules of order. But that was all he needed to know, for any assembly he attended was likely to elect him presiding offiicer. He had two attributes that, even without his unparalleled prestige, prompted men to choose him The Leader; and it mattered not that one of the attributes was trivial and the other he carried to the point of triviality, nor did it matter that for the last third of his life he was largely (and selfconsciously) playing a role. 
The first attribute was that he looked like a leader. In an age in which most Americans stood about five feet five and measured nearly three-fourths that around the waist, Washington stood six feet and had broad, powerful shoulders and slim hips; and he had learned the trick, when men said something beyond his ken, of looking at them in a way that made them feel irreverent or even stupid. 
The other attribute was personal integrity. At times, Washington’s integrity was bewildering, for his artlessness and his susceptibility to flattery led him to endorse actions that less scrupulous but more cagey men might shun; and at times it could be overbearing, stifling. But it was unimpeachable, and everyone knew it, and that, above all, made Washington useful. 
Others would do the brain work and the dirty work; Washington needed only to be there, but if there was to be a national government he absolutely had to be there, to lend his name to the doings.

1 comment:

  1. Noooooooo! No more quotes from the book!!!!
    Haha. I can’t wait until mine shows up. I thought I had supported the publishing of it long ago but I never got it and a buddy of mine did over a week ago! No worries, I sent more $$ to the Mises Institute, not like it’s put to ill use. Literally one of a very very few real institutes for Liberty and human freedom that folks who care anything at all for the future of freedom, should support if possible.