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Choosing - The Warren Record: Opinion


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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 9:00 am

After reading Mr. Taylor’s letter from this past Wednesday and having not posted a letter to The Warren Record in some time, it occurred to me – not in response to Mr. Taylor, but, if I may present an alternative analysis.

Let’s consider what the American people have witnessed or have been subjected to (you choose) the past three weeks. We all have some basic concept, either opinion or belief, as to what is right or wrong. However, I suggest to you that what we have been subjected to is about choosing sides, not right or wrong. The whole process plays out to be a struggle between these two parties to gain some type of political advantage. 

Once again I find myself relying on the words of someone way smarter than me. They’re from President George Washington’s farewell address published in 1796 addressing political parties.

“This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

“Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

Two-hundred-twenty-two years later and we still haven’t got it.

A little humor: Usually when I make statements about people smarter than me, one of my four adult children (usually a daughter) chimes in with something like, “Yeah, that wasn’t very hard, was it Pop,” to which my reply is, “You get that mess from your mother,” as I quietly think to myself, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Robert M. Watson