The United States was formed uniquely in that the people would be the monarch and those serving in government were to be subjected to the will and the wishes of the people. The founders, such as George Washington, saw the wisdom in this concept of government. They also saw the flaws.
Washington was an individual who possessed the highest character, and this was important to him. Washington, along with many of his contemporaries, understood that those the people elected to serve in the government, must be people of outstanding character. Character is defined as the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. These features would include such traits as morality or ethical quality, and qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity.
Character can apply to individuals and things such as political parties. Character of political parties is equally important. Today the political parties have failed to maintain exemplary character. The political parties, lie, cheat, deceive, and consistently place the good of the party above the good of the country.
The people have failed to place individuals of exemplary character to serve in the government as servants of the people. The people and the parties are about to nominate candidates for the highest office in our country who lack every trait that would be found in a person with outstanding character; morality or ethical quality, honesty, courage, and integrity.
Our founders, including Washington, warned us that our government would soon lack character if we elected individuals without character. Washington also warned us about the dangers of political parties.
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
In his last Inaugural Address Washington said:
“I have already intimated to you the danger of Parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on Geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, & warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally.
“This Spirit, unfortunately, is inseperable 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, controuled, 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 dissention, which in different ages & 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 & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & 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 & continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise People to discourage and restrain it.
“It 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 & insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence & corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country, are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
A person could conclude that Washington was clairvoyant. It some ways he certainly was. More appropriately, I believe, Washington understood people. Washington understood that people lacking character will always place their own desires and goals above the good of a country. Washington also understood that political parties, comprised of people, would assume that same flawed character.
Our political parties have placed the good of the party above the best interest of the people and the country. The people have placed individuals void of character in places of responsibility. Today our political parties will argue the good of a policy when it favors them and the evil of the same policy when it does not. Today, the people are about to nominate two people for president who lack any traits of exemplary character.
Our nation will continue to decline until we the people recognize our flaws; electing and celebrating individuals, especially those void of character, and tolerating the same flaws in our political parties. A character revolution must occur and soon. All character revolutions begin with individuals who insist on adopting those traits of character; morality or ethical quality, honesty, courage, and integrity. Once adopted, that individual must accept no less in those they support for public office at any level. People of high character also place country above party.