WASHINGTON WARNED AGAINST POLITICAL PARTIES
Posted by politicalpartypooper on March 16, 2009
By now, everyone who visits here knows that I hate political parties. Not just two of them; all of them. The Republicans and Democrats just happen to get most of my attention, because they are the parties of power in America. They are also responsible for most of the division in my nation.
George Washington had this to say about political parties:
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.
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.
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown.
….Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
How could we have ignored the warnings of such an honorable, and wise man? If I were to ask our nation’s leaders, all of whom are partisan politicians, what they think of George Washington’s warnings, I would guess the answer would contain some ideas referring to the fact that he must have been wrong, because we are still free, and one nation.
But are we one nation? Are we free? No law is written in our nation that is not dominated by either of the two parties. These two parties are then paid for by special interest groups, who use money to buy legislation, or at the least, to control it.
True, we are free to say what we wish, to go where we wish, to do what we want, within the confines of our laws. But we are not free politically. We hold no sway in determining the legislative process, other than through the ballot. That has not worked so well. For instance, we are still dealing with the demise of Social Security, a program both parties have had sufficient time to fix, and neither party has found important enough to do the difficult work of solving. Rather than compromise, which is statesmanship, we bear witness to showmanship, which is juvenile.
The Republicans and Democrats have no excuses left. Our financial system lies in ruin, and both parties have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Both parties have created a division that at this point seems insurmountable. There is no compromise in Washington, or so very little as to be unrecognizable and insignificant.
The Will of the People is being usurped by tyrants, and the tyrants are controlled by their party apparatus. We have not seen statesmanship in Washington for nearly fifty years. I wonder; will we ever see it again?
There is so much more to say about this issue, and in time, I will say it all.