America’s first President, George Washington, warned in his farewell address that a system of government based on politics was doomed to failure:
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.
Usually, when I write about the dangers of partisan political posturing and its destructive effects on our society, those who enjoy the benefits of political division get all huffy and scream that I’m (1) overreacting, (2) ignoring history or (3) failing to face reality.
Sadly, too many people simply can’t live without the need to live in a fantasy world where one political belief or philosophical stance must be superior to all others.
Democrats and Republicans share a common illusion that their ideas are better and the beliefs that all who disagree with them are fools.
Both sides claim the other lies when, in fact, both sides lie. Both sides claim the other plays dirty when, in fact, both wallow in political mud.
In reality, there isn’t much difference between the political parties or those who run them. Both owe their very existence to fatcat special interests who control the agendas of both the right and the left. Both put party allegiance ahead of love of country. Both excuse those on their side when they break the law and castigate the other side for doing the same thing.
All the political system in this country has accomplished is the production of flawed leaders, failed government programs and empty promises.
The political parties thrive by exploiting fear. Republicans say Democrats are driving us to Socialism. Democrats say Republicans want to kill grandma.
Each claims the other side hates America.
In reality, neither side gives a damn about America.
Political partisans put party first. America’s needs are, if anything, secondary to the agenda of the political parties.
In the end, it doesn’t matter which side wins an election or a legislative battle.
Because, either way, America loses.
George Washington got it right.
Too bad nobody listened.