Letter: Mike Panchura, Sterling

Editor: As we choose our next U.S. President, it’s time to raise the bar toward George Washington-like standards.

Although we may never again be lucky enough to have a commanding leader exactly like Washington, we really should raise the bar and choose as our next president a person who exhibits at least some of his leadership qualities.

Shortly after Washington died on Dec. 14, 1799, he was eulogized by Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee—a Revolutionary War general and relative of Leesburg’s namesake Thomas Lee—in part like this:

“First in war—first in peace—and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and enduring scenes of private life; pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting … correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand; the purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues … such was the man for whom our nation mourns.”

Today, most Americans sense that the presidential standard bar has been lowered way too far. For example, opinion polls (Rassmussen, CNN, Quinnipiac, et al) indicate that nearly two-thirds of Americans say our country is heading in the wrong direction under current leadership, four in 10 believe race relations have gotten worse, a majority disapprove of the way illegal immigration and terrorism are being handled, and the word most associated with the leading Democrat candidate—Hillary Clinton—is “liar.”

In 1753-55, George Washington was the first future U.S. President to travel through Loudoun County when (according to a historical marker in Sterling’s Claude Moore Park) he rode via the Vestal Gap Road on his way to the western frontier and beyond.

Now, as the potential future presidents travel through Loudoun County seeking votes, it’s time to raise the bar and choose the candidate who most closely emulates Washington’s character, virtues, and commanding leadership qualities.

Mike Panchura, Sterling


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