The Spirit of Party – October 2013
In his farewell address, George Washington warned of “the spirit of party.” This spirit will lie and divide communities to achieve power. “Let me… warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party… This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind… and is truly [our] 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… 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.
… the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. 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. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.” -George Washington
“The name of American… must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any [Name]…” -George Washington
James Still, JamesStill@RetraceOurSteps.com“I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any [association]… Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.” -Thomas Jefferson