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California Prop 14 is GOOD for All States Because Political Parties are Un-American

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His cousin, Thomas Jefferson , echoed the same sentiment: "[I have] never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself.   Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.   If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all."


Hamilton was also contemptuous of parties, in part, because they could corrode an individual's sense of civic morality.   He wrote that a "spirit of faction" can drive individuals to do together that "for which they would blush in a private capacity."

(Federalist Papers, no. 15)


Sounding eerily like a 21st Century observer, Madison commented, "A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points " have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good." (Fed 10)


Expressing views widely held among the Framers, Madison wrote that because the Constitution separates governmental powers, balances those powers, and provides the different departments with checks against encroachment by the others, as well as giving the people a part in the political process, it is "the proper antidote for the diseases of faction."   It was to this end that, "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition."

(Fed 14, 51)


One of the most fervent beliefs of the Founders was expressed by Madison when he wrote that "no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of " the public good." (Fed 45)   A party dominated government cannot do that.


In 1796, when his second term in that office was about to expire, George Washington   delivered a " Farewell Address " in which he declined to stand for a third term, and in which he gave his parting words of advice to his country.   He implored his listeners to "[let me] warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party""    He then said,


"To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable.   No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute " [Such alliances] are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.     They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests."


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William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. Political Scientist, author, speaker, CEO for The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund, a CA Nonprofit Foundation My new book, Internet Voting Now, on Kindle, at Blog: (more...)
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