Two great Presidents, America celebrates
America celebrates the birthdays of two Presidents, Washington and Lincoln. Washington was our first and gave birth to a new nation, and Lincoln gave to us the rebirth.
From the nation’s beginning, we struggled to shake slavery and to give women equal rights. We struggle today to find balance between government and private sector cooperation to produce a productive economy.
Washington was more than just a wealthy farmer and successful military officer. He was, perhaps, one of our first commercial developers. He did not have the financial success of a Donald Trump, though he had vision. He knew that by forming a company to make the Potomac River navigable, he could create the means for people to move westward, and to expand the great nation. He knew that populating the areas westward was essential to counter the possibility of the Spanish and French from settling there. He envisioned creating Matildaville, a great city as a gateway to the rivers beyond the Chesapeake watershed.
Lincoln, himself a pioneer, born in a log cabin in those western lands, obtained an education against the odds and became a lawyer and competent government executive, first in state government in Illinois. Then, when the nation was splitting apart as slave states tried to retain their agrarian way of life and resisted supporting a federal government through taxation, Lincoln ran to win the presidency and to manage a long struggle to defeat the separatists and to reunite Americans.
Both men led the nation through fights in which the outcome would be survival or disastrous defeat, and both men won America’s opportunity to keep the dream of freedom for all alive.