Analysis Of George Washington 's Farewell Speech Essay

776 Words Jan 16th, 2015 4 Pages
“Everyone you meet is your mother,” reads a tweet by @NYTMinusContext. The quote is one of over 3,900 shared by the user who, as their name suggests, takes New York Times quotes out of context. The tweets are a mixture of strange, funny, and downright confusing. While entertaining, the truth is that all of the tweets mean absolutely nothing without their context. Thus, the Twitter account teaches the timeless lesson that context is everything.

If Twitter and The New York Times existed during George Washington’s presidency he would have no doubt been the lead story. His Farewell Address would be front-page news, and one can only imagine that a quote such as “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world,” would be a headline. Once more, context is everything.

How then should we interpret Washington’s statements? Should we dismiss them as malarkey, the words of a long dead man who never saw the brightness of a computer screen? After all, he did live in a time when America was in a “detached and distant situation.” No, we should read them as they are, in their own context, and apply them to the present.

If Washington were given 140 characters, I think he may have said this: The US is a government for the people and should act as such. Everything it does shall be of benefit to its citizens and itself.

At its core, Washington’s Address proposes that America should limit its involvement with other nations beyond what was…

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