Honor George Washington on Memorial Day

By Ambassador Callista L. Gingrich and Speaker Newt Gingrich

A great deal has changed about American politics since our first president, George Washington, left office in 1797. Washington never ran for the job, but he was elected unanimously.

Today, we have hard fought, multi-billion dollar presidential campaigns. Other aspects are different, too: Washington hated the idea of political parties, but today the two parties seem as much a part of our system of government as the three branches. And the executive branch itself is dramatically larger: Washington presided over a cabinet of just four small departments, but today there are sixteen cabinet secretaries and 2.6 million executive branch employees.

In these ways and many more, times have obviously changed. But this year, the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, has also been a vivid reminder of how much about our politics has remained the same. The revolutionary spirit that animated the American Revolution is alive in both parties, and a majority of Americans are signaling they want real change.

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