Mark West
May 10, 2010

In her infancy, or at least throughout the term of her first President, the United States maintained an aura of non-partisanship. George Washington avoided association with political parties.

Now I’m not saying that parties, or factions, didn’t exist. They most certainly did, along similar, but not the same, principles to those of the two major parties today. A basic contention existed over the size and influence of central government. Seems those battle lines have remained throughout each ages of our nation’s history.

However, President Washington was opposed to political parties. He saw a sinister nature to partisanship. Washington feared the perpetuation of “the most horrid enormities” as the factions battled bitterly for domination, competition, and vengeance while ignoring what was best for the nation.

He feared that the Party would become the sum and the whole, and surveying our current landscape I would argue his skepticism wasn’t unfounded.

His words have proven prophetic, reminding me of a prophet of another sort…Paul the apostle. He was testifying before the Sanhedrin, the high council of Israel, in the book of Acts chapter 23.

The Sanhedrin consisted of two major parties, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The major difference between the two was in the matter of the supernatural. The Sadducees didn’t believe in the supernatural. According to the Sadducee, miracles and angels didn’t exist. They were sad, you see. However, the Pharisee believed in both.

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As Paul testified before the Sanhedrin, he abused this difference between the two claiming his only wrong was belief that a man could be raised from the dead. Well, of course this issue cut right to the heart of the debate between the factions. Immediately the Pharisees cleared Paul and continued their raging conflict with the Sadducees.

I share this because I believe the dissensions our first President feared are being played upon much like Paul did with the Sanhedrin.

The friction between the factions is being used against both parties in order to hurt the American people. Powerful corporate interests push the agenda. They do this by simply appealing to the ideals of the Party membership on both sides.

What? Don’t believe me? Then allow me to supply an example from each party in which the party supported agenda-driven legislation.

I will begin with the most recent first…the health care bill.

The Democrats were motivated to pass this legislation to hurt the insurance companies. The Republicans were motivated to go to war in Iraq to hurt the terrorists.

In both cases who benefitted? The insurance companies will get 36 million new customers and the military contractors get to rebuild Iraq and the terrorists get recruiting material!

Unfortunately, Congress and the White House for decades have lacked forward thinking leaders. They have lacked the ability to grasp the logical consequences of their legislation outside of the next dollar pocketed or endorsement won.

Such is why they wrangle!

So they’ve become entangled in the despotic culture of factions that President Washington described so presciently.

He put it like this, “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages and countries has perpetuated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” –September 19, 1796

Frightful indeed!

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