I'm currently writing a paper on George Washington's "Farewell Address," and I came across some unexpected contemporary criticisms of his presidency near the end of his second term. On the man who would eventually become one of the highest-ranked U.S. presidents of all time, newspapers printed:
- There "are thousands among [us] who equal you in capacity, and who excel you in knowledge."
- He is no better than the right arm of "British agents, old tories,...the banks, and a long list of unprincipled speculators, who, like leeches, stick to him."
- He was "ignorant of war both in theory and useful practice."
- "A speedy death to General Washington."
- Louis XVI had "never treated his subjects with as much insult."
- "The American nation has been debauched by Washington."
- "The name of Washington has lost its magic."
Time heals all wounds, I suppose! Which makes me wonder, how will future generations look back at our time and leaders and what will they say? Seeing how nostalgia for Bush has already begun, we'll have to wait and see.