15 Second Briefing:
Jan. 8, 1790, marks the commencement of an institution enshrined in our Constitution: President George Washington delivered the first Joint Address to Congress.
In this first address, Washington made the claim that Congress needed to act expeditiously on allowing him to create an effective Executive branch that could serve the needs of the people and the posterity of this nation.
Jan. 8, 1790, marks the commencement of an institution enshrined in our Constitution: President George Washington delivered the first Joint Address to Congress. In Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, it requires the president to periodically “give to the Congress information of the State of the Union.”
On this day, 232 years ago, President Washington set the standard of delivering this ever-important address. While today, it may appear like political fanfare, there is something about the State of the Union that evokes national pride.
Power and Prestige Take The Pulpit
Every year, regardless of the Commander in Chief, politicos, and historical gurus alike pine to hear the words, “Mister (Madam) Speaker, the President of the United States” shouted by the Sergeant at Arms signaling the power and prestige of the office.
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It is likely, without Washington’s model being set for the chief executive, that we would not revere the office like we do today. Among the hallmarks of his first address is an emphasis on personal liberties, a solidification of the principles outlined in the Constitution and the Second Amendment.
Being the first self-proclaimed republic, Washington needed to bring a masterly level of tact to the presidency, and in his own words, “I have no conception of a more delicate task, than that, which is imposed by the Constitution on the Executive.” This is a critical representation because even in diplomacy, he placed an emphasis on the foundational principles of this country.
Washington’s Demands For Individual Freedom and Liberty
At the forefront is this quote from his Joint Address: “To the security of a free constitution it contributes in various ways… by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority.”
This is a direct plea to Congress instructing them to not only educate the public on their unheard-of rights but also to foster a sense of respect for their individual freedoms. This mentality is wholly profound and begs the notion that a patriot is someone who crusades for the liberties of their fellow citizens.
Like these previous examples, there are many other facets of his speech that are premiere examples of his ability to navigate a groundbreaking government, but his affirmation of the Second Amendment must be cherry-picked for its contemporary importance.
The Second Amendment is Required for a More Perfect Union
Gun control advocates today would have everyone believe that firearms are for military service exclusively. In his own words, “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined.…” In the next sentences, he does speak of holding a standing army, but the primary clause is, “a free people.”
He goes on to say, “…their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.” This so clearly defines the Second Amendment as a natural right guarded around the principles of self-defense. It has been said before and should be repeated over and over, our founding fathers did not mince words. They were clear in their intentions and President Washington’s first State of the Union enhances and codifies our understanding of their intentions.
This address is about precedent. While the Constitution provides an impervious structure that makes clear the role, election, and requirements of the president and vice-president, its intent has always been to “create a more perfect union” while protecting civil liberties. Washington took this to heart, and in this first address he made the claim that Congress needed to act expeditiously on allowing him to create an effective Executive branch that could serve the needs of the people and the posterity of this nation.
Big Daddy Unlimited advocates strongly for Second Amendment rights because we believe that the right to keep and bear arms exists to protect all of the other God-given rights of American citizens. Become a member today to join our community of freedom-loving Americans, and let’s work together to support and defend our Second Amendment rights.