What Would Washington Think of Us Now?
By Phil Perkins
September 18, 2023
Throughout his political life, and until his death in 1799, George Washington was confident that the country could and should function without the existence of political parties. From Washington's perspective and judgment, political parties eventually and "gradually incline the minds of men to seek security… in the absolute power of an individual," leading to despotism.
Should Washington somehow come back to life today, I think he’d be more astounded by what our government has become than at any technological marvel that did not exist in his day. Today’s “Democratic” party has proven Washington right; they are paving the way for despotism to rule indefinitely over what remains of these “United” States. I use the term “rule” purposefully because many Americans no longer know how our system of government is supposed to work. Therefore, they see the president as a “ruler” instead of the Chief Executive who is accountable to the people and held in check by two other branches of government.
As many of us bemoan the all-talk, little-action typical of most Republicans these days, the Democrats paint ALL Republicans as the font of evil. Doesn’t matter that Republican leadership has caved to the Dems on so many issues over the years, which is proof positive that all the caving in the world will never be enough. The so-called “far-right” of the party is vastly outnumbered and marginalized even within the confines of the party itself. Who needs the likes of Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries to trash Marjorie Taylor Green or Matt Gaetz when fellow Republicans do the job for them? Are Greene and Gaetz imperfect vessels in promoting what they believe the Founders wanted for this country? Of course – they are part of the human race which has been imperfect since the Fall. If our elected representatives don’t speak out against the Democrats’ high-handedness and attempts to become single-party rulers, who will?
I’ve often wondered, what was it about FDR that made it possible for him to be elected four times? Obviously, the onset of the Great Depression and the blame foisted on incumbent Herbert Hoover made a Roosevelt victory in 1932 inevitable. After that, however, a combination of weak Republican candidates and FDR’s charisma ensured his two additional elections prior to our entry into World War II; and of course, wartime in 1944 ensured his last election even when he was at death’s door.
Was FDR a “despot?” In some ways, yes. Just ask any American of Japanese descent whose parents or grandparents were locked away in an internment camp during World War II, despite the fact that many Japanese-Americans fought on our side in the war. Did FDR attempt to do things, such as packing the Supreme Court, that even his party thought was going too far? Yes, he tried and thankfully failed. Yet despite these real or attempted actions, voters continued to keep FDR in the White House. And he set a template of governmental activism that future Democrats from JFK, to LBJ, Obama, and now Biden would follow.
Washington’s dire warnings about political parties stemmed from what he foresaw as something that would foment division among the people. Divisiveness is the opposite of what is needed to be united in purpose, and Washington was wise enough to know that the young nation had to be united in purpose in order to sustain itself and its freedoms. After all, political candidates still run on the mostly empty promise to “unite” us. George W. Bush bragged that he was a “uniter, not a divider” but his plunging us into a war with Iraq deepened a divide from which we have never recovered. Democrats frequently use the tired and mostly false argument that their policies are what “the American people want,” although available evidence screams to the contrary. Now we have Vivek Ramaswamy, a very bright and successful businessman running for president, who’s talking about uniting the country again based on the Founders’ vision. Ironic since most of the Founders were believers in the God of the Bible, whether as Deists or Christians, while Ramaswamy is a practicing Hindu. But that doesn’t stop him from courting Christian conservative voters by telling them what they want to hear about the evils of “wokeness.” However, the biggest frauds are Democrats such as Joe Biden who promise to unite us, but govern in a “my way or the highway” manner that only worsens the division we see today.
Washington’s warnings about political parties, while largely ignored, have resonated throughout the nation’s history as prescient. As he stated in his farewell address in 1796,
“The spirit of party serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”
The events of January 6, 2021, most certainly were not an insurrection. However, the Democratic Party has been engaged in an ongoing insurrection since at least January 2009 in the guise of “fundamentally transforming” America. Why aren’t more Americans waking up to this?