|Fig.1: Only an infallible man can sucker punch like that.
But first, let's review his humble beginnings. Washington was born February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland, Virginia, possibly through immaculate conception (I see no evidence to the contrary). Actually, he was born on February 11, 1731 since Great Britain was still using the outdated Julian Calendar, but Washington had the foresight to know that the Gregorian Calendar was the future, and changed his birthdate before the British officially did in 1752. Anyway, Washington's family owned a somewhat successful farm where they grew tobacco and possessed a decent number of slaves, meaning they were of "middling rank" in colonial Virginia (as opposed to those kids from Scooby-Doo, who were of "meddling rank"). George's father died when he was 11, and his half-brother Lawrence became a sort-of surrogate father, playing catch with him in the yard and taking him to his first PG-13 movie. Of course, the story of George chopping down the cherry tree supposedly came into play beforehand, but the tale is a bunch of hooey! It's not because he never told a lie (that part is true; he never even blamed the smell on the dog), but because he would never have done something so heinous as destroy a beautiful fruit-producing plant! How barbaric!
|Fig.2: Young Washington's
metabolism worked off
those doughnuts like a boss.
After the war, Washington started doing pretty well for himself. He inherited the Mount Vernon estate after his half-brother's death, and built his well-known mansion there. He married a wealthy widow, Martha Custis, increasing his wealth, slaves, and stepchildren who would then shout, "You're not even my real father!" whenever they disagreed. He became a popular figure in the landed Virginian aristocracy, and lavishly entertained guests with endless champagne and loaded potato skins. But he couldn't help but complain when the British began taxing the colonists to make up for the cost of the war; he helped draft a resolution that called for a boycott of British goods, which he cheekily referred to as "British bads" (Washington had the same sense of humor, as well as hair color, as Carrot Top). When the fighting began in 1775 between the British Army and colonial militias in Maffachufetts (which is the state's proper and original spelling), a Continental Congress was called by the colonies in order to figure out what to do. Washington showed up in his full military uniform, and was promptly give the job as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (showing that how you dress to an interview is just as important as what's on your résumé).
As the military leader of the American Revolution, Washington scored countless victories, such as the ones at Boston, Trenton, Yorktown... oh, well I guess that's it. Well, those were the three most important victories of the war! (Nobody cares about you, Saratoga!) This is where those commie historians start spewing that bologna about how Washington's successes in the war have been over-amplified, when really he suffered a record well below .500. Even his victories have asterisks, with lucky breaks such as artillery shipments, weather, and a French naval blockade giving the Americans the upper hand in each respective battle. They even say that he wouldn't have been able to stand and pose heroically during the crossing of the Delaware River without capsizing the boat (fig.3)! These Debbie Downers need to chill out and consider how bad it sounds that the Father of His Country retreated from most of his campaigns, and required a lot of assistance in order to come away with the victory. How un-American is losing and needing help? Kids don't need to see a great man like Washington be all interdependent and stuff!
|Fig.3: Rock the boat! (Don't rock the boat, Georgie.) Rock the boat! (Don't tip the boat over.)
|Fig.4: Possibly the biggest reason
Cincinnatus didn't want to remain
dictator is that it meant he would
have to at least put some pants on.
Obviously, since he was the first President, he has to be the best, right? Not so, say those Marxo-fascist haters! They claim that Washington's tenure as the Chief Executive was possibly the worst time in his public career. Other than establishing some standards for the Presidency, such as the two-term limit, the title of simply "Mr. President," and late-night fondue parties on the third Wednesday of the month, he failed to stem many issues that would plague the United States in its near future, and even created some extra ones. An example of the latter is his response to the Whiskey Rebellion, where farmers rebelled against a tax on the distillation of liquor. Washington personally led a militia to quell the rebellion, the only time an active President marched onto a battlefield (other than the little-known FDR tank that stormed the beaches of Normandy). Diplomatically, he strained foreign relations with the French, who were revolutionizing all over the place, and left his successor in John Adams to clean up the croissant crumbs. While he also warned against political parties in his farewell address, he indirectly encouraged them by siding with his army bunkmate, Alexander Hamilton, instead of fellow ginger Thomas Jefferson in both domestic and foreign issues; this created the strain that led to the two-party fight between the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican-Happy-Fun-Time Party.
|Fig.5: Washington's personal
servant, Billy Lee, in the back-
ground, totally not giving him
Washington died on December 14, 1799, after a bout of sickness following an inspection of his plantation in the pouring rain (you gotta be thorough about these things). It wasn't long before he was deified in the American consciousness, touted as first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countryman, and first in the all-you-can-eat chicken wing buffet line. He certainly had his critics during his lifetime (mostly people who were all jealous of his fine powdered hair), but it hasn't been until recently that historians began debunking the myth of his perfectness, which I believe is detrimental to the well-being of the American citizen. Washington needs to remain the unblemished hero as which teachers and textbooks portray him, a cut above us all. If children are made aware of his faults, it shows that he was merely human, that everyone makes mistakes, and that any one of us could grow up to become a great and influential figure like him. What kind of lesson is that? A good one, you say? Why don't you go to Laos with the rest of those commies!
Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow
Published: 2010; Hardcover: 927 pages
Canned Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Ivory Dentures