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I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their 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. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent 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 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.
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 governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with 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. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.?
Originally posted by Hamburglar
I bet we're all doing it again within a week. Shame on us all.
Originally posted by df1
Well Val, you know I dont always agree with you, but in this instance I agree with you completely. However being unpartisan is particularly easy for me as I am a libertarian (emphasis on the small "l") that has equal distain for the actions of the democrats and the republicans, as both are eagerly selling out our liberties, rights and freedoms for transient political reasons.
[edit on 20-12-2005 by df1]
Originally posted by Valhall
Somebody stated earlier that the partisan division and fighting is a well-fostered mechanism for diversion. I think that's true as well. But the minute we state we are aware of that...and then we personally decide to continue it amongst ourselves...
it really does become shame on us all.
Originally posted by Theway2k
However, if civil rights suspensions ever progress to spying on citizens for an agenda of power self-aggrandizement, God help us. I know that is a dangerous fine line that can be exploited by evil, but I don't believe George W. Bush is that evil one.
Originally posted by subz
It's an extension of the human condition; we seek to form groups from which to derive comfort and support. The same expression of humanity is repeated over and over again in many different ways. But when it's used as subterfuge, and as a refuge, for scoundrels we have to step outside the safety of our own group and deny them their swords and shields. This Op/Ed seeks to shed light on the cause, use and ways to combat political partisanship.
Originally posted by masqua
When we ask ourselves; What could lie behind the fact that political parties fight a policy brought about by those in office, and yet, when it is their turn in power, strive to entrench that same policy? (as in the Patriot Act), we come to the conclusion that there are external forces which are acting upon those offices of govenment and that they are hidden. These influences, out of the limelight, push an agenda which the voting public have never seen.
One cannot help but to sometime make partison comments, if only to present differences in the way presidents/congress has used/mis-used existing laws....
An Example: In this instance, Bush (or I should say, the NSA/Homeland Security) is using the law to track those calls made to or from America (without court order) as they relate to approx. 310 specific phone numbers the terrorists use (legal, because the calls originated from or came into the U.S.).
Clinton used the same law to wiretap (without court order) his political opponents (not legal because the calls were strictly domestic).
So..... which was worse as it pertains to the law? One instance was to protect citizens, and the other for perceived personal gain or protection.