WHAT WOULD GEORGE WASHINGTON SAY TO TODAY'S AMERICANS?
What would George Washington say if he were allowed to descend from Heaven and convey one final message to the American people? Those who attended my law firm’s 20th anniversary celebration, entitled the Sacred Fire of Liberty Gala, discovered the likely answer on September 6, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Cambridge, Maryland.
The extraordinary and incomparable character actor who starred in Aquarius (2000), The Real George Washington (2008), and Lafayette: The Lost Hero (2010), Dean Malissaappeared there embodying the very essence of George Washington. Malissais revered for his exquisite portrayal of the indispensable hero of the American founding. He meticulously and scrupulously remains true to history and brings to life the great integrity, dignity, and power of that forever beloved Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and President of the United States.
As Washington, Dean Malissa conveyed to an audience of 300 a speech I wrote with great care from Washington’s own prophetic words. Malissa’s performance spellbound the audience, causing many to remark to me that they felt as if they had been transported back through space and time to be in the great man’s presence. See the magnificent address on Youtube below.
In the paragraphs that follow, I reprint the content of the speech, which chastens modern government for violating the Constitution’s limits on power and invading the people’s liberties.
Friends and Citizens:
I come before you from beyond the veil of Heaven. I can remain with you for no more than a brief period. I rise from that retirement in which I have experienced inestimable joy. I come with reluctance, out of a sense of necessity and urgency. I am drawn by my ardent love for my Country, which neither death nor eternity can extinguish.
Throughout my mortal probation, no voice did I hear with greater clarity than the voice of my Country in time of need, and in no instance when my Country called me did I decline to rise and serve, even when enfeebled by age and disability and even when my overwhelming inclination was to withdraw from public service, as a wearied Traveller must do, to take leave from the great theatre of Action and the employments of public life.
And so I rise again, called to duty by your prayers for relief and pleas for the Country to be saved. I have heard your appeals, have entreated with my Father in Heaven--that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Heaven, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect—to allow my earthly condescension for but a moment, doing so for one solemn and critical purpose—to rekindle the Sacred Fire of Liberty.
I tender homage to that Great Author of every public and private good for this opportunity to appear before you one last time.
A solicitude for your welfare and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on this occasion, to offer to your solemn contemplation sentiments which are the result of much reflection on usurpations of power that have replaced the limited Republic we entrusted to your care with an unlimited government more akin to that Absolute Monarchy of Tyrannical rule that robbed us of our Liberties before the Revolution.
I beseech you to remember that Character of Government we entrusted to you at the dawn of our experiment in Republican Government.
The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined than at any former period. At that auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation.
When we consider the magnitude of the prize we contended for in the Revolution, the doubtful outcome of that contest, and the favorable manner in which it was terminated, we were right then to see that the battle for Liberty was not only a just cause, but also a Divine one—affected by the hand of Providence.
The Citizens of America were then placed in the most enviable condition, as their own sole Lords and Masters, invested with plenipotentiary control over their own lives, liberties, and properties, save for unjust invasion of the equal rights of others.
As Liberty was the word on every Patriot’s tongue during the Revolution, Liberty was the Patriotic purpose of our written Constitution—to be preserved by the restraints contained in that Great Charter.
We knew then our experiment in Republican Government would be tested, but we trusted in the Citizens of America to stand as a Bulwark of Liberty and guard against change by usurpation of power. Freedom could remain ours so long as we would defend it against the Designs of Ambitious Governors.
We then commenced the time of our political probation, to determine whether we would keep well lit the Sacred Fire of Liberty and, so, ensure a respectable, prosperous, and free Country, or whether we would violate that trust and devolve into disrepute, contempt, misery, and servitude.
Then as now the eyes of the World and of the Devine Author of Creation were upon us.
That sovereignty which of right remains in the Citizens of America has been removed over time by repeated expansions of the National Government beyond the limits of the Constitution.
Usurpation by usurpation what was once your prerogative as a Free People became the prerogative of Government, depriving you of Control over your own Destiny and presuming to dictate by Force of Law the Course of Commerce and who Among You may win and who Among You must lose in the Affairs of the Market.
In the present Crisis, silence in me would be a crime. I therefore speak to you, to that love of Liberty still within your breasts and which reverberates with each beat of your Hearts, to return our Government to its Constitutional limits and demand restoration of legal protection for your Rights and Liberties.
These are the Pillars on which the Glorious Fabrick of our Independency and National Character must be supported. Liberty is the Basis, and whoever would dare to sap the foundation, or overturn the Structure, under whatever specious pretexts he may attempt it, will merit the bitterest execration, and the severest punishment which can be inflicted by his injured Country.
I consider it my Duty and that of every Patriot to insist that no unelected agency of the Government continue to make law governing industry and improvement contrary to the Constitution’s exclusive vesting of that Power in the Congress of the United States.
I consider it my Duty and that of every Patriot to insist that no President of the United States presume to amend the laws of the lad without the assent of Congress or to refuse compliance with the laws enacted by Congress.
I consider it my Duty and that of every Patriot to insist that no Citizen be compelled to appear before an agency court to answer for charges from that agency and to be judged by that agency. Rather, the Constitution we entrusted to you guarded your Rights to an impartial Judge in a Civil Court with Due Process and Trial by a Jury of Your Peers.
Those actions combined with an ever tightening noose of public debt around the neck of our Country threaten every hostility to Liberty, Independence and Civil Society.
I urge you to Restore that form of Government so free and uncorrupted as to serve as a happy guardian against all oppression.
Let us resolve together from this moment forward to unite upon these principles and restore the Character and Charter of Liberty that made the United States of America the envy of the World, the greatest enemy of Tyranny and the greatest Friend of Liberty.
When I last withdrew from public service, at the end of my term as President in 1796, I could remark without hesitation that Interwoven as is the love of Liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine was necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
The same I cannot remark without hesitation today. Although I do not doubt your Love of Liberty, I warn that the same Love is no longer interwoven with every ligament among those who now Govern you. Take charge. Replace them with True Friends of Liberty.
The support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad, your safety, your prosperity; and of that Liberty which you so highly prize; depends incontrovertibly on what you now do to Restore the Republic and return your government to its Constitutional Limits.
The Constitution as written and as originally understood is the main Pillar in the edifice of your Real Independence, the political Fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies of Liberty will always be directed, and the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity.
Restore it to Supremacy. Watch for its preservation with jealous anxiety, with ever a suspicion upon designing men and measures.
Toward the preservation of your freedom, and the permanency of your happiness, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to the Constitution’s authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon the Constitution’s principles. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown.
In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the True Character of Governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing Constitution of our Country.
Liberty finds in a government respectful of our Constitution’s limits on power its surest guardian.
A Free Government is, indeed, little else than a Name, where its officers refuse to abide by the Rule of Law, by the Limits prescribed by our Constitution of Liberty, and by preservation of the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property.
In a Free Country, habits of thinking must be maintained that inspire caution in those entrusted with government administration, to confine to within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding exercise of powers whereby one department encroaches on another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.
A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks on the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, to be the greatest protection for the People’s Liberties.
Indeed, the combination of legislative, executive, and judicial powers, or any two of them, in single hands is the very definition of Tyranny.
To preserve Liberty, we must ensure that no combinations in government sacrifice Liberty and that government remains the People’s Servant, not their Master.
If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation, for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which our Constitution and the Limited Government it creates are destroyed.
I must now take my leave, called by my Father in Heaven not to toil further but to make haste in restoring the balance of Heaven, there being but one mortal probation allowed for each life.
As I part, I leave you with an abiding assurance that regardless of what immediate fate may come or who may deprive our Country of its Constitution of Liberty, or the Citizens of America their Sovereignty, the Sacred Fire of Liberty shall ever burn within them and shall ignite in the Hearts of Every True Patriot the Courage, Insight, and Resolution needed to upend the Evil and Restore the Republic.
Your Liberty and happiness shall remain for all eternity the Object of my Heart and the Happy Reward of my earthly labors. I now part but pray that whatever spirit of Liberty I have conveyed shall long abide among you and among your posterity.
May the Lord bless and Keep you and may He Save the United States of America.
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