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George Washington Didn't Believe In Political Parties

Updated on December 7, 2012
Look at that grimace!
Look at that grimace!

George Washington, in his farewell address to Congress and the American public in September 1796, railed against the concept of political parties, stating, “One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.”

This statement, just by itself, illustrates his opinion that any party system would change the political dynamic from multiple viewpoints to a selected few or even just one viewpoint. And that view is much more mired in revenge against the opposition then the good of the whole country. Washington felt that parties were dangerous to a democracy.

In 2011, during the debt crisis last summer, we truly got to see what he meant by, “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension,” and that, “It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”

The Republican-controlled senate, led by House Speaker John Boehner, threatened to let the clock run out and the country fall into bankruptcy over increased taxes on the wealthy. Around this time there was 19% congressional approval. Yet Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Boehner kept talking about doing the will of the people.

After all the hand ringing and grand standing, both sides “ compromised” to go from $28.8 trillion in debt over the next decade to $26.3 trillion.

What a great achievement.

Then S&P (Standards and Poor’s) dropped their USA rating from AAA to AA+. John Chambers of Standard and Poor's stated, “Our job is to hold the mirror up to nature, and what we are telling investors is that the United States government is slightly less credit worthy," and their official statement was, "The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics."

All because of Petty Partisan Political Party Politics.

Can anyone look at this situation and not have their blood boil with bitter rage. We, as citizens and voters, should have called over for the rebuke and removal of every single member of Congress over this political party line hissy fit.

George Washington is rolling over in his grave; The Washington Monument is spinning like a top over this.

I’m an independent. I have no party association. I don’t believe in the two party system and not very wild on the idea of multiple parties (three or more). There is so much that we’ve changed about the way we interact in government since the time of Washington that I wonder if we could ever go back to the days of yore; that original concept of politicians caring more about the individual people they represent than the party.

At the end of the day we have more in common politically then we want to admit. We all believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are all republicans, democrats, conservatives, liberal, and progressives. We have a democratically elected republic. We all believe in personal freedom such as choosing our own directions in life. We are liberals because we believe in liberty and tout its virtues throughout the world. If we stop sectioning ourselves off and actually talk things out and agree to disagree so we can finally agree for the good of all of us, then we might actually be the great country that the partisans would rather see fail then let the other side get credit for accomplishing something.


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    • Edgar Arkham profile image

      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from San Jose, CA

      Thanks for reading!

    • Barnsey profile image

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      Well said, I couldn't agree more. Cut the pensions of the retired politicians, no one deserves a pension for job they did for only a term! One Term?! Why aren't we all politicians?