On Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, we'll watch the actual transfer of responsibility from the 44th 'representative of all Americans' to the 45th. In his eloquent Farewell Address on January 10, President Obama cautioned against taking our democracy for granted, and referenced George Washington's parting words about unity in his own presidential farewell in 1796. The brief excerpts below, dated September 17 in Philadelphia, were addressed to "the people of the United States: Friends and Fellow-Citizens."
"The unity of Government which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is... a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize."
"But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; ...it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness."
We look forward to lively dialogue on civics themes in 2017!