Crazy for Country

…or a crazy country, it’s certainly hard to tell these days…

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

It agitates the Community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”

~ George Washington, Farewell Address, 19 September 1796

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Enough really cannot be made about how adamant the Founding Fathers were in their opposition to permanent, national political parties.  And for good reason.  They easily foresaw the problems that would arise from factions constantly at war with one another over various issues attempting to “lead” and “govern” the nation.  The end result is the chaos we see today, where our elected officials no longer effectively govern.  As he retired from a lifetime of service to his nation, Washington himself spent almost the entirety of his Farewell Address urging his fellow citizens not to fall into the trap of parties and party spirit.  And yet today, we could not be more beset by the party mindset when it comes to politics.  People don’t review candidates or issues, they parrot party lines that are blasted to them throughout the airwaves and in every form of media.  Independent voices are for the most part dead, and the entire nation is engaged in a highly charged constant debate over the virtually meaningless.  If we want to drive ourselves crazy over “the issues” or any issue at all, why not start with the one that IS actually most glaringly opposed to the spirit of our nation and Constitution as a whole – political parties.

 

Res Publica

 

Documentation without Representation:

George Washington, Farewell Address, 19 September 1796

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s29.html

Electronic Text Courtesy of The University of Chicago Press

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