"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissensions, 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.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), 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 find a facilitated access to 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
(1732-1799) Founding Father, 1st US President, 'Father of the Country'
George Washington's Farewell Address, September 17, 1796
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Reader comments about this quote:
Wow. Timeless brilliance. Would that such wisdom was heeded today. How long has it been that such genius has occupied the office of the presidency? A long, LONG time...
 -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 3
    "Truth", is timeless!
     -- AL, DC     
  • 1
    I'm with E Archer on this one.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
  • 1
    Brilliant / Prescient.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 2
    We hold this time proven truth to be self evident and absolute.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    5 stars plus another 5. I really believe that every freshman Senator and Representative should be required not only to read this sage advice, but to have to commit it to memory. I want to say that this should especially be directed at the Democratic side of the aisle. Hey, if the shoe fits....
     -- GunnyCee, Durham     
  • 2
    It is natural for the People to divide themselves into at least two parties; one conservative and the other liberal. However, neither of the parties within the government are actually liberal or conservative. Each of them, wishing only to aggrandize themselves with more power, merely attempt to appeal to the conservative or liberal portion of the public. These two parties have so monopolized the government at every level that the honest candidate that is perfectly in tune with the will of the People, being not a person of parties, has little to no chance of serving his/her country in any legitimate office. People are left with an either/or choice in which on many occasions neither is correct or in harmony with Public Opinion. Politicians from both sides are more considerate of their party's agenda than the needs and wants of their constituents. They plan depending on partisanship, bipartisanship, and political leverage rather than just doing what is right for the American People. This causes both paths, Democratic and Republican, to lead to despotism; we are forced to vote for the lesser evil that moves more slowly. Our political system has only one more party than Nazi Germany. If one of these, Democrats or Republicans, can by some strange and miraculous circumstances claim an absolute or long-standing victory over the other, our republic may come to mirror that fascist state in which one party rules all. In the end, we must either reform this two-party system or part with our liberty; one day it will not be an option to have both.
     -- Publius     
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     -- watchman 13, USA      
    A poignant counterpoint to the Theory of Evolution.

    An American Colossus among other colossi.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    Two competing world views are at the heart of the culture war I suggest reading a piece entitled "Why There Is a Culture War" to understand the foundations of the two competing views, one side embraces the Marxist philosophy while the other embraces the philosophy of liberty embodied in our founding documents and the sources our founding fathers relied on. -

     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
  • 1
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