Washington's Farewell Address, 1796

From Wikipedia, In Summary: "Washington continues to advance his idea of the dangers of sectionalism and expands his warning to include the dangers of political parties to the government and country as a whole. 

While Washington accepts the fact that it is natural for people to organize and operate within groups like political parties, he also argues that every government has recognized political parties as an enemy and has sought to repress them because of their tendency to seek more power than other groups and take revenge on political opponents.[12] Washington had thought that disagreements between political parties weakened the government.

Moreover, Washington makes the case that "the alternate domination" of one party over another and coinciding efforts to exact revenge upon their opponents have led to horrible atrocities, and "is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." From Washington's perspective and judgment, the tendency of political parties toward permanent despotism is because they eventually and "gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual."[13]

Washington goes on and acknowledges the fact that parties are sometimes beneficial in promoting liberty in monarchies, but argues that political parties must be restrained in a popularly elected government because of their tendency to distract the government from their duties, create unfounded jealousies among groups and regions, raise false alarms amongst the people, promote riots and insurrection, and provide foreign nations and interests access to the government where they can impose their will upon the country."

Full Text of the Address

 Christopher Jackson as George Washington in the musical Hamilton

Christopher Jackson as George Washington in the musical Hamilton


[WASHINGTON]
The hope
That my country will
View [my errors] with indulgence;
And that
After forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal
The faults of incompetent abilities will be
Consigned to oblivion, as I myself must soon be to the mansions of rest
I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws
Under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust
Of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
...
Like the scripture says:
“Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid.”
They’ll be safe in the nation we’ve made
I wanna sit under my own vine and fig tree
A moment alone in the shade
At home in this nation we’ve made

WIlliam PacholskiComment