“Let me… 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.” George Washington (1732-1799), 1st American President, excerpt from his Farewell Address
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware that another election is upon us. Political ads are on the television, signs are appearing in yards and in farm fields, rallies are being held by the political parties and debates are being conducted between the candidates. Everywhere, and at every opportunity, we are being inundated by both parties with reasons as to why their platform is the best one to lead the country. We are being asked to pick a side, and many of us already have. However, there are still a great many that have not, and these are the ones that each party is fighting for. The time is near, and it makes me wonder – what is it that is making these folks hold out?
Perhaps the answer lies in the wise words of our first President, George Washington. He was not a great believer in political parties, as he saw them as a source of potential division which would lead to the weakening of our nation. Perhaps we have such a growing amount of citizens registering as independents because they see neither party as representing all that is best for our nation. Candidates, yes, but parties, no. Gone is the time when people knew what each party stood for, because often what they see now is the priority of party, rather than the preservation of the nation. I think that independents don’t see either party as representing the side that they really want to choose, and that is the side of America.
I believe that honorable men and women exist in each party. I know this because I have them as my friends. Yet, there are far more people who represent us out there who are so loyal to their party, that they are willing to destroy the very principles on which our country was founded, sacrificing the very future of America. We would never use such a standard when we choose our friends, so why do we do it when we vote? Should we really stand with those that are willing to pander, cover up, lie, cheat, take from others, put us deeper in debt, flout both the law and the Constitution, and even allow fellow citizens to be killed, all to further a political agenda? Would we choose such people as friends for our children, and if not, why in the world would we choose them as leaders for our nation? Should we not jealously guard her welfare as we would that of our own family?
The side long forgotten by many from both parties is the side of America. Her health, prosperity, unity and future are being ignored for the sake of party, just as our first President warned. We should not be choosing our leaders based on party, but choosing them based on whom they place first in their lives: themselves, their party, and their political careers or God and America’s people. And when I say people, I mean all people, not just a particular party’s pandered to class of the day. George Washington risked his life for the sake of his entire country. He put its future welfare ahead of his own, humbly trusting divine Providence to stand in the remaining gap of human inadequacy. The side he chose was America. Which side will you choose?
“Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.” Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th American President
“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), American journalist