Letter From Claverack 11 15 2016 What George Washington said…

It has been a spring like day today in Claverack; the temperature scraped sixty degrees and it was possible to walk around with only a light jacket.  It was delightful and I reveled in the day.  Patches of yellow leaves float like Ophelia down the creek.

In this hard time, I have very little to say.

There is a popular blogger I follow named Shelly Palmer.  He wrote a blog today that I read and then tweeted but what was most important for me was that we, the Republic which is the United States of America, has been through times like this before and we have survived.

This is what George Washington wrote to a friend about why he did not seek a third term as President.

“The line between Parties,” Washington wrote Trumbull, had become “so clearly drawn” that politicians would “regard neither truth nor decency; attacking every character, without respect to persons – Public or Private, – who happen to differ from themselves in Politics.” Washington wrote that, even if he were willing to run for president again, as a Federalist, “I am thoroughly convinced I should not draw a single vote from the Anti-federal side.” For Washington, the nation’s political parties had soured discourse and created a climate in which, as he predicted in his 1796 farewell address, “unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.” Referring to the Democratic-Republicans, Washington wrote, “Let that party set up a broomstick, and call it a true son of Liberty, a Democrat, or give it any other epithet that will suit their purpose, and it will command their votes in toto!”

The times we are living in have been experienced before and we will survive what is coming and will, hopefully, emerge as an even better Republic than we are today.

It is what I pray for at church on Sundays when I light my candles for all the things for which I have said I would light candles:  myself, the family of a friend who recently passed after a horrific battle against brain cancer, the daughter of a friend whose daughter has traumatic brain issues, for my family, for peace in this agonized world.

It was a tradition started when I was in high school after a group of us went sailing; a storm came up and we had to swim to shore when the boat capsized.  All of us, except one, were Catholic and we walked to our parish that night and lit candles for our survival, which was not assured.  People waded out into the water to help us to land, exhausted as we were from the efforts of swimming too far with inadequate lifebelts, through waves that had been unmatched.

So I now will light a candle for the Republic every Sunday I attend church and pray we survive this time that seems so riven.

Let us find hope in the fact our Republic has been through times as troubling as this and has survived.



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