In his Farewell Address to Congress in 1796, after serving two terms as President, the “Father Of Our Nation” warned Americans to never let political parties dominate our national life. Heedless of his warning, we went and did just that.
Today, everything in politics revolves around two opposing political parties, the Republicans and Democrats. As a result, our nation is fast becoming paralyzed, unable to agree on or accomplish anything. Our political parties and their constant bickering have worn us out.
Many Americans are no longer able to read the words and phrases below that were eloquent even for Washington’s times. Read them slowly, for understanding. Down through the ages, George Washington’s wisdom and intelligence – and his predictions about what would happen if political parties came to control our government – shine through with clarity and truth.
Here is President George Washington’s advice on political parties for Americans of the future, excerpted from his famed Farewell Address:
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.
Those words, from the great general who led our American Revolution to success, from the President who guided us to stability out of the chaos of the War for Independence, are the essence of the apolitical campaign to Vote American. I’m Joe Shea, founder of the Vote American campaign. We can’t expect to have much impact on the 2010 mid-term elections, when the Republicans are expected to take back control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the U.S. Senate, from Democrats.
Regardless of which party you may now support, it is our greater obligation as Americans to put our genuine personal and national interest ahead of all other considerations and political parties. I believe that when I cast my vote, I should do so to secure my rights and my heritage as an American, and to preserve those rights and that heritage for all of my countrymen forever. I hope you feel the same way.
Those I choose to vote for should be those who would not try to alter our Constitution, to change or diminish our personal and national freedoms, who are honest and hard-working, and who share my views about always putting our country first and political parties second. Many would claim to do that now, but how often do they vote against the party line?
In reality, while there may be an occasional exception, most of our elected Congressmen and Senators vote with their party almost all of the time, and only rarely vote with the interests of the entire nation first.
Please join me this year and always in putting America – not a political party – first in your thoughts when you vote. That way, we will restore the true source of leadership to our nation: the people, not the party.
To read Washington’s Farewell Address in its entirety, click here.
For more information about the Vote American campaign, and to help spread this message, write: Vote American, 4119 61st Ave. Ter. W., Unit 305C, Bradenton, FL 34210.