Sometimes it helps to ask Dad. But these Americans! They celebrate Washington's Birthday a week ahead of time. Then they hardly stop to listen to the tips from the father of his country that speak to the confusions of today. In a list-happy society they ought to note at least ten:
There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.
America still recognizes this. But preparation means not only prudent and sufficient arms but an economically and socially healthy society that is not drained and sundered by an arms race.
Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other.
By dividing the world too categorically into East and West, left and right, bad and good, America would risk the problem George Washington saw.
The hour . . . is certainly come when party difference and disputes should subside; when every man (especially those in office) should with one hand and one heart pull the same way and with their whole strength.
As the White House, Congress, and the nation struggle with an already highly controversial budget, the need to work together for the common good is especially evident.
It is not every one who asketh, that deserveth charity; all however are worthy of the enquiry, or the deserving may suffer.
The government's current valuable effort to separate the greedy from the needy - and serve the needy efficiently - must not be allowed to result in suffering and injustice.
It is important, that the judiciary system should not only be independent in its operations, but as perfect as possible in its formation.
A timely blow at congressional efforts to invade the jurisdiction of the courts - and a boost for the drive to speed and improve the operation of the courts.
Nothing in my opinion would contribute more to the welfare of these states, than the proper management of our lands.
The current shrinkage of American cropland under erosion and development is only one part of the environmental and natural-resources challenge.To neglect this challenge for budgetary reasons at any level of government would be a short-sighted economy.
Congress have repeatedly, and not without success, directed their attenton to the encouragement of manufactures. The object is of too much consequence, not to insure a continuance of their efforts, in every way which shall appear eligible.
The administration and Congress are alive to the necessity. They must also recognize the shift from an industrial economy to a service and information economy - and not let yesterday's economic solutions crowd out today's and tomorrow's.
Promote then as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
The efforts to cut education funding must not undermine the nation's commitment to the training and education that are vital to keep America's ''human capital'' as vigorous as its investment capital.
The arts and sciences essential to the prosperity of the state and to the ornament and happiness of human life have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his country and mankind.
Again, budget cuts for efficiency must not be permitted to diminish American commitment to the quality of life.
A good moral character is the first essential in a man . . . . It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.
Here is the bottom line for any era, for any country, whether all those years ago when George Washington had one birthday or now when these Americans give him two.