Skip to comments.George Washington and the Electoral College
Posted on 02/04/2022 8:54:36 PM PST by jfd1776
Reflections on the anniversary of the first Electoral College balloting...
On February 4, 1789, the Electoral College met and their votes were tallied, and it was unanimous. All 69 electors (representing the ten states that participated in that first presidential election) named George Washington as their first choice.
General Washington was therefore first and only President of the United States who could be said to have been elected unanimously.
It makes sense. The General had served his home state of Virginia for twenty years as a state legislator, including national service at the end of that period as one of Virginia's delegates to the Continental Congress. In those twenty years, he had already become both a political and military leader, arguably the most prominent in the American colonies at the time. Only Benjamin Franklin was more famous abroad.
Washington's service during the French and Indian War, followed by continued leadership in the 1760s and 1770s - standing up to royal governors as the independence movement grew - combined to make him the natural choice for commander-in-chief when Congress formed our Continental Army.
General Washington took control of an understaffed, untrained, largely unarmed force at Cambridge, Massachusetts in the summer of 1775, and over the following eight years, he successfully developed that force, guiding the Continental Army to victory over the most militarily powerful nation on earth.
By the time General Washington resigned his commission, in December, 1783 - the peace having been secured and the last of the enemy having been escorted off our shores - these United States had truly been transformed, culturally, from thirteen separate countries into a new union in which people were beginning to think of themselves, at last, as Americans.
General Washington deserves much of the credit for that change in continental worldview.
At a time when many of the political leaders were happy to go on as a weak federation of independent countries, General Washington understood that Americans, from Georgians in the deep South to Vermonters in the far North, would somehow have to come to think of each other as brothers, if our Glorious Cause of Independence was to have a chance of success.
From his very youth, as a leader of the Virginia militia in the service of the British army, he earned the respect of his soldiers, fighting for his veterans against a distant king who had reneged on promises made to our soldiers during that earlier war.
And as a member of Virginia’s colonial legislature, again and again, he was a leader of his fellow statesmen, spurring his colleagues onward in such dangerous acts of insubordination as reconvening the House of Burgesses - at a local tavern! - right after the royal governor had dissolved it.
When King George III imposed martial law on the people of Massachusetts, and New England attempted to fight back by boycotting trade with the mother country, it was George Washington who led Virginia and the south to join that northern effort, broadening the action to enhance both its economic and popular effect as a truly Coastwise Boycott.
We all remember Thomas Jefferson’s stirring words, at the close of the declaration of independence in 1776, proclaiming the commitment of the delegates’ "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor." But it is easy to forget that this commitment actually pre-dated that document by nearly a decade, as it was in the mid and late 1760s that these primarily prosperous businessmen risked everything - including the charge of treason, even then - for the cause of America’s individual identity.
Having won the peace in 1783, but lacking a strong enough economic structure to recover from the wounds of war, it soon became clear that structural changes would be needed, and a Constitutional Convention was called for the summer of 1787.
Again, General Washington’s service was needed, not for military purposes this time, but again for the political leadership qualities that only he possessed.
When the delegates convened in Philadelphia, requiring a presiding officer to keep them on course, they chose the man with twenty years of legislative experience, the man who had worked with them all in an executive capacity throughout the war, and who had maintained correspondence with many of them ever since his retirement, proving his genuine dedication to the success of this nation.
Nobody else knew the entirety of the United States like George Washington did. Nobody else understood this country and its potential like this greatest of visionaries.
And so it was clear, long before the election of 1788, when the Constitutional Convention delegates were designing the job of the presidency, that the natural choice for our first president would surely be General Washington.
There were other candidates in that first election. Once the Constitution was published, and began to go through the ratification process, it became clear that this was to be a new role, a challenging role, and other statesmen would certainly seek it... but they weren't jockeying for the top post.
Under the Articles of Confederation, there had been a President of Congress, but he was more like the speaker of the house, or majority leader, in a very weak association indeed. This would be a horse of a different color.
In this new constitutional government, by contrast, the President would truly be a head of state, and that meant that the precedent set by our first President would be of enormous consequence for the future.
There was nobody else who commanded the respect of the entire country, nobody else who virtually everyone could trust to be geographically unbiased, to do his best to work for the best interests of everyone, north and south, large states and small states, farmers and merchants, soldiers and traders.
There was simply no one else on earth like George Washington. And everyone knew it.
And so it was, in the fall of 1788, when the state legislatures selected their slates of fellow statesmen to constitute each state's contribution to the Electoral College, that everyone’s vote for President was an unspoken but forgone conclusion. Everyone's second votes varied; 34 voted for Adams, some voted for Jay. There were votes for Harrison, Rutledge, Hancock, Clinton and more.
But everyone agreed on George Washington.
Their judgment was proven right: throughout his eight years as president, George Washington did indeed deliver the independence of thought, statesmanship, vision, and dedication to the limits mandated by the Constitution, that Americans had counted on him to provide.
George Washington built an administration that was geographically diverse, focused on the good of the entire country, and committed to making America succeed as the shining city on the hill, as a role model for the nations of the world.
The Electoral College did its job well, that long-ago February 4.
Divine Providence truly blessed this country with the gift of George Washington.
Looking back, and looking ahead, we could certainly benefit from such a blessing again.
Copyright 2020 John F Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.
A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.
The contrast between Washington and most of those who have held the office since him is breathtaking.
The enormous gulf between Washington and the current president is enough to make one cry.
George Washington had a fantastic command of the English language. He was brilliant. I have a book of quotes by him and he is still astounding, even now. Biden, not so much!
Nicely done, sir.
They picked the right guy to be the 1st President of the United States.
George Washington would not have found a Kenyan from Indonesia to be a natural born citizen of the United States.
The guy from the Old Dominion might not have made it if Dominion voting machines were around back then.
“First in war. First in peace. First in the hearts of his Countrymen.”
easily the greatest American. ever.
Fulton County, GA also hand counted its ballots and compared it to Dominion's machine count. It was accurate.
There was also a smaller county in Michigan which hand counted its ballots which matched the machine count.
Last, there was a town in New Hampshire that hand counted and the result was the same.
Last August, Mike Lindell said he was going to explain why the machines changed the votes - not all use Dominion. He was going to explain how each state's reported votes changed from A to B. He never did, unfortunately. He still hasn't.
So, I'm not worried about the machines anymore, but is obvious there were a ton of illegal ballots, which we all know about. That is what people are really focused on now and how to prevent these illegal ballots from being counted.
... just don’t ask Thomas Paine.
But then again, there were no Democrats back then.
Fulton is a shithole of liberalism in GA. I have no doubt they lied about the machine tally or made ballots after the fact to match.
Rest I have nothing to say
So, I’m not worried about the machines anymore
Well gee, if YOURE not worried then that settles it./s
Paxton and the state of Texas showed the machines are packed with holes that can alter the vote totals.
Air gapped, pft.
I’m sure their analysis is correct, but so far no hand recount has shown fraud.
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