George Washington is regarded by historians as the most loved president of the United States of America. This is mostly due to his character. At the age of 16, the president-to-be copied some rules about etiquette from an English translation of a 16th century Jesuit treatise. The rules governed civility and morality as well.
He christened the guidelines as the Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. These rules were later known as George Washington’s Rules of Civility. Over time, a wide collection of presidents have flouted and broken Washington’s rules.
Thomas Jefferson: President from 1801 to 1809
Thomas Jefferson broke the rule of thinking before you speak. He was also unable to pronounce perfectly with distinct words. It is well known that Thomas Jefferson was not good at making speeches.
According to his foundation, it is not known how many of his written speeches were actually publicly delivered. As a matter of fact, his two inaugural addresses were so silent that they were barely audible. Moreover, he delivered his annual Congressional address in writing!
Abraham Lincoln: President from 1861 to 1865
Historians have found that President Abraham Lincoln actually battled with clinical depression for his entire life. As a result, he broke George Washington’s rule which indicated that you should not speak of melancholic subjects in public. The first president also indicated that you shouldn’t share your dreams with anyone other than a close friend.
According to the Atlantic notes, President Lincoln was highly melancholic and would even break down in public. He also recited maudlin poetry. Lincoln also shared his strangely prophetic dreams with many of his friends. As a matter of fact, two of these dreams foretold his assassination!
William Howard Taft: President from 1909 to 1913
According to Washington’s rules, gluttony should have no part in a person’s life. He warned against eating too much and also promoted good table manners. William Howard Taft did not follow this rule.
According to the Miller Center, William ate a dozen eggs, multiple pancakes and a pound of cake for breakfast! This left him very sluggish for most of the morning section. He was a certified glutton and enjoyed long meals featuring a variety of fishes, meats and rotations of fowls.
Donald Trump: President to date
One of Washington’s rules was that actions performed in the company of others should be done with respect to them. President Donald Trump has flouted this rule more than once.
He routinely insults people, uses negative rhetoric and even verbally abuses people. He has made racial comments, expressed offensive opinions against Hispanics, Muslims and black people. This has been regarded as unpresidential character more than once.
Few people etch their memories into the history of the world like US presidents. George Washington carved a great reputation. He also left guidelines on how to live. Many presidents have broken these rules over the years. However, they all love and respect the original Founding Father of the USA!