Tag Archives: George Washington

George Washington, Political Parties and Lack of Principle

Today’s parties, the Republicans and Democrats, or as I like to call them Republicrats and Demipublicans, are not here to fix our problems. As George Washington recognized over 200 years ago, political parties are tools “by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people.”

Whenever I hear partisan talk, I am reminded of how easily people become tangled in the dialectic and effectively neutralized. Neither party is going to save us, no matter how it plays out, the only saving grace will come when people again become principled.

These people that put all of their energy into making sure their “party” gets in are incredibly naive and unwilling to face the fact that either party will do anything to get in power and stay there; neither has much in the way of principle. You can’t have good public policy without sound principles, there simply is no way to compromise; either you have sound principles, or you don’t.

“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 [political parties] 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.”

–George Washtington