On Conservative Radicalism

“What will he do, now that the war is won?” King George III asked the American painter Benjamin West.  “Oh,” West replied, “they say he will return to his farm.” “If he does that,” the king said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.” Of course, the British sovereign spoke of George Washington and, as historian H.W. Crocker III reminds us in Don’t Tread on Me: A 400-Year History of America at War, From Indian Fighting to Terrorist Hunting, returning to his farm is “precisely what Washington did.” The crux of the king’s comment is that it would take extraordinary restraint to choose an ordinary life when the seeds of power had just begun germinating in America, and he alone stood most capable of guiding the direction of the sprouting shoots. He could be anointed King of the Americas, forge his own empire, and shape that empire and the men within it for the rest of his life and...(Read Full Article)

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