George Washington was not one who desired praise and attention.

Instead of living for an applause, Washington set his focus towards fighting for a land where freedom would thrive for generations to come. From leading young men to victory during the American Revolution to presiding over the Continental Congress, Washington demonstrated his incredible potential to encourage and direct others during the birth of a new nation.

Washington did not live for power. He lived for principles.

George Washington tirelessly devoted himself to these duties without any thirst for recognition. However, it would be his humble nature that would inevitably draw those seeking liberty towards him. For, unlike many leaders before him, Washington did not live for power. He lived for principles.

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His principles lied in an idea that would not only stand the test of time, but would become the foundation of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world. Individual freedom, opportunity, and a government bound by the will of the people would become a beacon of hope for those seeking liberty and prosperity across the globe. The desire to preserve these principles would lead George Washington to sign arguably the greatest political document in human history.

Individual freedom, opportunity, and a government bound by the will of the people would become a beacon of hope .

As the symbol of our nation, the Constitution embodies an unprecedented perception on the role of government. This concept of governance begins with the recognition that the rights of the individual are granted by their creator. Because of this, government cannot restrict the rights of the common citizen, but those in power are consistently bound to abide by the restrictions presented by our founding document. Through systems such as federalism and separation of powers, the founders developed a government where each branch is constantly checked for the purpose of preserving the people’s liberty.

Our founding fathers designed the framework of our Republic with full recognition that human nature inevitably causes people to lust for greater power. When this power is concentrated in the hands of too few and not restrained, tyranny will unfold and the rights of the individual will pay the ultimate price. However, a document designed to prevent this abuse of power means nothing if citizens are not willing to fight to preserve their rights. Nearly two centuries later, Ronald Reagan would remind Americans of this by stating, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction…It must be fought for and protected.”

Partisan politics has resulted in dividing Americans in the name of party loyalty.

To truly fight for these timeless principles, citizens must be united around the common purpose of preserving their God-given liberties. However, partisan politics has resulted in dividing Americans in the name of party loyalty. Instead of primarily focusing on holding those in power accountable, millions of Americans have become fascinated with simply having more elected officials sharing their political affiliation in office. Ahead of his time, George Washington saw how party allegiance would eventually serve as a distraction from the vital goal of protecting individual rights.

When serving as the first president of the United States, Washington watched as two of his Cabinet members constantly fought over their differing ideas. Serving as Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton believed in the importance of a strong government with a central banking system. This contrasted greatly from Thomas Jefferson’s view of a more hands-off federal government with more power concentrated within the states. Washington witnessed their arguments on a daily basis, and although they had good intentions in their beliefs, he saw how it drove them apart.

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After eight years in office, Washington wrote his Farewell Address, which would be displayed in newspapers across the country. Never one for the spotlight, no flamboyant speech was given, but a precedent was set. The man who never desired power and reluctantly accepted it on behalf of the people, felt it was his time to give it up after serving two terms. Within his Farewell Address, Washington warned against political parties. After watching first-hand the alienation they can cause, the retiring president depicted how their formation can deter citizens from their focus on holding all public officials accountable, regardless of their political affiliation.

when electing those in one’s party becomes a greater focus than restraining their power, it comes at the expense of freedom itself.

Today, Washington’s message should still serve as a reminder that preserving the rights of the people is far more important than loyalty towards a specific party.

Of course political parties are not created for the purpose of harming society. They are created from like-minded people with good intentions to seek ways to better America. Through advocating for the implementation of different policies, political parties aim to improve areas like business, infrastructure, and education. Yet, when electing those in one’s party becomes a greater focus than restraining their power, it comes at the expense of freedom itself.

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Taylor is a public relations and political science student at the University of Florida. An optimistic conservative, her passions include writing, learning, and working with others to encourage people and enact change. She is a firm believer that America's best days are ahead.

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