“Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors.”
– George Washington, 1796
“I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet…. I don’t want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I’m confident I have. I just haven’t — you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.”
– George W. Bush, 2004
The similarities and differences between the two quotations are striking, especially considering the more than 200 years between them.
I just read Washington’s Farewell Address from 1796, and it’s a little fatuous of me to say that I found it pretty amazing. He was truly wise, and I wish that we would have listened to him more.
I’m reading it because I’m in the process of writing a blog entry (or at least was — the draft is gone since I foolishly updated Firefox without saving the draft in Drupal) encouraging members of the Green Party to stop railing against CLCV for leaving their gubernatorial candidate off our “GreenGov2010” site (to help the next governor become a better governor in protecting the environment than the one we have now). So far we have only posted info about the major candidates — the ones with any viability to win, the ones we all know about — though we will post all the candidates after the California Secretary of State’s office releases the certified list of candidates on April 1st.
I couldn’t remember which of our founding fathers had warned against the evils of political parties. A quick search revealed that at minimum George Washington had done so. In his eloquent (and verbose) farewell address, written and delivered at a time in which people wrote and orated amazingly complex sentences, he announced his decision not to seek a third term and warned against several things, including entanglements with permanent foreign alliances, government without religion and morality, and, yes, the establishment of political parties on geographical or other bases.
It’s amazing, and sad, how the near-total domination of parties in our political system have given rise to many of our first president’s fears. Read his speech (because I just don’t have time to list them at the moment… though I plan to).
The point is, for some reason Greens are pissed off at CLCV for leaving their candidate off the site, but it’s not our fault that the Greens have zero chance to win. It’s a classic case of looking everywhere except yourself for the source of your problems.
Luckily, WordPress is smarter than Drupal in the sense that it auto-saves what you write when you create a page or a post, so at least this blog entry is still around. I also really, really needed to not have that silly German U.S. Census ad up at the top of the homepage anymore.