George Washington said our hope of maintaining our precious freedom lies with making common cause around the constitution. When Obama focuses on unity, he’s not just using a pretty word for effect. He’s talking about what Washington called the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity.
Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true Liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government.
Washington says one way can lose our freedom is to allow a faction to direct, control, counteract, or awe the constitutional deliberations of our government. If we allow this, it can be fatal. It replaces the voice of we the people with the self-interested will of one party, or group, or cabal, or sect. If we allow a faction to take the reins of power from we the people, the situation is created so that in time, cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will take away the power of the people and hold the reins of government. In the end, they will destroy the institutions, laws, and traditions of our constitutional government.
17 All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.
18 However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
If we care to preserve the “engines” of our government, we will impeach George W. Bush.