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Letter: A lesson from Washington

Our country and its people have been ignored and dishonored by a do-nothing Congress that seems to have only its own interests in mind.

It all comes down to two major parties that seem to despise each other and can’t negotiate something for the good of the people and their country. Are parties all that important?

I came across a document that may spell out the problem and the solution:

“Indignantly, upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts . . . let me now . . . warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. . . . 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 the government itself through the channels of party passion. . . .

“There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in government of a monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.”

These are not my words but the first two paragraphs of the farewell address of the greatest America ever, George Washington.



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