Washington’sFarewell Address: The Spirit of Party
Two hundred and twenty-one years ago, George Washington gave afarewell address during his permanent withdrawal from the world. Heargued that political parties had a tendency of transforming intopowerful engines with time, in which zealous, unprincipled, andcrafty men would have the power to not only undermine the capacity ofthe people, but also take over the government and later ruin the sameengines that heaved them to the position of sovereignty (Washington14). This paper provides an explanation of the spirit of a party as afragment of people`s nature, the bad side of our nature, the adverseeffects of spirit of a party on the popular government, and therelevance of Washington`s address in today`s world. The spirit of aparty according to Washington is entangled in people’s nature, andthe human mind strongest passions form its foundation.
The spirit of party separates people into competing and rival groupscharacterized by racism and tribalism, and jealousy (Washington 21).Therefore, a part of our nature tends to yearn for victory over othergroups that holds different opinions as ours in spite of them beingbetter than us. In 1746 England experienced a civil war that washighly triggered by political parties. Throughout history, GeorgeWashington forewarned of the effects of political coterie todemocratic republics (Washington 27).
An enraged party spirit is an enemy to the popular government. Someof its effects on the government and its people include violence,civil war, bloodshed, limited justice dispensation, falsehood, aswell as the detraction. Moreover, a negative spirit of a party robsoff a nation’s good nature, humanity, and its compassion. In 1793,the French revolution assisted in convincing the American people fromdifferent parties that their political rivals were motivated by notonly evil forces, but also dangerous forces that had the intention ofdestroying the young republic (Schmidt et al. 149).
Washington’s warning about a spirit of a party is relevant inAmerica today. Schmidt et al. (152) observed that the major roles ofpolitical parties in America are executed by a mini ill-definednucleus of activists who are more inclined to winning elections thanto address people`s welfare. In addition, the Obama’s governmentaimed at uniting the American people by dealing with the issue ofpolitical separation. However, after the succession of Donald trump’sgovernment, the Americans became divided due to various factors suchas racial discrimination and ObamaCare repeal act.
In conclusion, Washington`s warning about the effects of a spirit ofparty is critical in ensuring a united public that is free fromidentity, geographical, and ideological discrimination.
Schmidt, Steffen, etal. Cengage Advantage Books: American Government and PoliticsToday, Brief Edition, 2012-2013. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning,2012. Print.
Washington, George.Washington`s Farewell Address. Germany: Volksfreund JobOffice, 1862. Print.