The Phaserl


Washington’s Farewell Address: Beware of “Tools and Dupes”

by Joe Wolverton, II,

As he prepared to leave office, President George Washington was concerned about the increasingly partisan and militaristic path the young Republic he helped found was heading down.

Even the “Father of His Country” was not above criticism, and the military-industrial complex of the time pilloried him in the press. Although the recently retired general whom the Indians believed could not be killed suffered from the shots taken at him by these “infamous newspapers,” he refused to make any response that would deny his countrymen of “the infinite blessings resulting from a free press.”

This nobility contrasts sharply with the arrogance and paranoia of his successor, John Adams. Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts into law in an attempt to criminalize criticism of the president.

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