Commonplace Entry 9

“George Washington” [1]

“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.” [Excerpt from Washington’s Farewell Address]

This excerpt is an address that laid the foundation for many American principles.  This decried the establishment of political parties as a negative aspect of the new Republic.  It also uses a “They Say, I Say,” when comparing the opinions of those who favor parties to his own.  As such a historical and powerful figure, his rhetorical stance resonates even deeper than most figures.

Image: http://www.bartleby.com/124/washington.gif

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