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distrust of D.C. resolved

George Washington
George Washington
George Washington Art Portrait painting impressionist by Debra Hurd. Title: The Real George dub. George Washington, February 11, 1731 – December 14, 1799, was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, serving as the new republic's first President. | Photo: Debra Hurd | George Washington, President, Impressionist, Debra Hurd,

George Washington Called, He Wants His Good Name Back

Imagine those majestic Greco-Roman portraits, statues and busts of General George Washington, sometimes astride his steed (white, of course) and often with that stern look of that Roman paragon, Cinncinatus, who, having saved Rome, returned to his rural estates to grow grapes.

Fast forward, and, well, what you too often see is that eponymous seat of national government as some second-rate graphic novel, full of sound and fury, signifying very little of substance, or veracity. That once revered (if fanciful) trusted Washingtonian bust is asunder, busted into the seemingly irreparable eggshell-like pieces of a bloated Humpty Dumpty whose royalty and their horsepower haven't the slightest interest in reassembling it. And, to complete the Lewis Carroll metaphors, Mad Hatters reign at what was once the table at which all kinds sat and upon which most things were. (Note: at a time when some of those 'top hat' wearers decry the EPA and government in general as job-killers it is apt to realize that the very terms 'mad as a hatter' derives from the practice of hatmakers of old of infusing their woolen handiwork with copious amounts of mercury. Hmmm, no wonder Alice's restaurant's a place you can get anything you want). But I digress.

With all apology to that self-same George Washington and his worthy memory, I raise, again, my proposition that July 2-4th of 1776 may well have been a mistake, possibly even a matter of crucial messaging getting lost in translation. (See my piece 'The British Are Coming, Don't Bother, They're Here').

Let's look at our 'brilliant' system, deliberately eschewing the parliamentary one. Keep in mind that the Founding Dudes were really upset with that English-as-a-second-language other George III; what do they do, they throw out any possibility of his government's legislative system, the dominant one worldwide because it's, ahem, more adept at needed change. While academics are typically indecisive, this quote from some of the best of them seems to capture the essence:

"Parliamentary systems are decisive, presidential systems resolute. In addition, parliamentarism fosters a style of politics and policymaking that is probably more institutionalized, centered as it is on political parties, while presidentialism fosters a more personalized and free-floating style of leadership centered on individual politicians and smaller, less established organizational entities."

The main reason for this is that the executive and legislative branches are essentially one, with the Prime Minister leading that execution of the laws. While certainly not the sole advantage of it, the strictly limiting law and its application, particularly in the case of funding and duration of political campaigns, is easier to achieve as the 'chief executive' (Prime Minister) is, himself, a member of the legislature, hence, a greater chance of binding all seeking re-election to far less resources, as all will be equally limited in that pursuit, not to mention less noisome to their constituents via endless campaigning and its advertisements.

So, I leave you with the proposition that, far from being solely heroic, larger-than-life marble statues of virtue and reason, maybe our extant dis-ease of the body politic is a matter or reactionary design than studied reason; after all, there are some 27 amendments to that blueprint. Maybe when William climbs onto that gilded throne under that constitutional monarchy we could renegotiate our relationship? Hey, free universal health care. Let me know, and start practicing that tune, the one we lifted from the Brits: 'My Country 'Tis of Thee'. Later.

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Updated May 6, 2017 6:00 AM EDT | More details

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