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“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” – George Washington

The quote mentioned above by President George Washington demonstrates Washington’s opposition to political parties. President Washington firmly believed that political parties would bring the ruination of our country. Was Mr. Washington correct on his statement?—Not necessarily, but to a certain extent he was right.

We see that the two dominant political parties of today (Democratic and Republican) obviously set our nation apart. Typically, the common American either believes in the Democratic interpretation of the Constitution, or the Republican interpretation of the Constitution. It seems as if it is a rarity that one believes in ideas generated from both Liberals and Conservatives. Many of the beliefs of topics from each party are as followed; (based off examples used from www.diffen.com )

Taxation: Democrats believe in progressive taxation (higher taxes for higher income), while Republicans believe that taxes should not be raised for higher income brackets.
Military: Democrats usually favor in decreasing military spending, while Republicans usually favor military spending.

Interpretation of the Constitution: Democrats believe in big government and favor bureaucracy. Republicans strongly oppose bureaucracy and believe in limited government.
Social and Human Ideas: Democrats are community and social responsibility based, while Republicans are individual rights and justice based.


All of the bickering between extreme Democrats and Republicans is unnecessary. The arguing just leads to more arguing, and a conclusion is never resolved. Far-left, radical liberals such as political commentary figures Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, and Steven Colbert; and Far-right extremist conservative icons including Rush Limbaugh, and Dave Ramsey are so caught up in the “Democrat vs. Republican” argument, that they lose sight on what’s really important.

For example, at the time of George Washington’s election in 1783, there were no political parties. However, two political parties started to evolve over the course his first term. By the time Washington was elected for a second term, there were two defined political parties; the Federalists, influenced by Alexander Hamilton and the Democrat-Republicans influenced by Thomas Jefferson. The major difference between these parties was their interpretation of the very young American Constitution. Anyway, the French Revolution broke out in 1789 during Washington’s second term. Great Britain had allied with the French Royalist against the French Revolutionists. While most Democrat-Republicans insisted that Washington send forces to France to aid the Revolutionists, most Federalists insisted that Washington send forces to aid Great Britain and the Royalists. Washington denied both of these scenarios and declared an act of neutrality. The reason why Washington wanted to stay neutral was because Great Britain was a trading partner with America, and France helped the Colonists in the fight for the American Revolution. Democrat-Republican and Federalist newspapers blasted Washington for this decision. Often times, slander was used to sway common Americans one way or another. This exemplifies how political parties can divide America.

Despite George Washington’s stance on political parties, the destruction of political parties is highly impractical. Personally, I believe that political parties should remain, however, I do not believe in the unnecessary side effects of them. For example, the slander used in early America about Washington is ridiculous. The members of the parties themselves have a right to their opinion, but to make up false accusations about the president because he didn’t side with either nation is insane.

In conclusion, political parties should not altogether be disbanded. They should remain, but radicals in both parties need to focus less on the “Democrat vs. Republican” debate, and focus on coming up with a compromise that favors both parties. The differences between the two parties should not cause uproar between people. It should end up leading to a compromise. So, George Washington wasn’t entirely correct about political parties, but he certainly did have a point.



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