The Tyranny of The Two Party System — The Big Government Democratic and Republican Parties — Is That All There Is? — Trump Best Odds — ‘We Are Led By Very, Very Stupid People’ — Corrupt Criminal Class — Bought and Paid For — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 593: December 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 592: December 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 591: December 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 590: December 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 589: December 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 588: December 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 587: December 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 586: December 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 585: December 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 584: December 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 583: November 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 582: November 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 581: November 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 580: November 23, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 574: November 13, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 573: November 12, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 572: November 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 571: November 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 570: November 6, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 569: November 5, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 568: November 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 567: November 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 566: November 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 565: October 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 564: October 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 563: October 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 562: October 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 561: October 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 560: October 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 559: October 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 558: October 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 557: October 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 556: October 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 555: October 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 554: October 15, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 553: October 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 552: October 13, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 551: October 12, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 550: October 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 549: October 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 548: October 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 547: October 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 546: October 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 545: October 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 544: September 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Story 1: The Tyranny of The Two Party System — The Big Government Democratic and Republican Parties — Is That All There Is? —  Trump Best Odds — ‘We Are Led By Very, Very Stupid People’ — Corrupt Criminal Class — Bought and Paid For —  Videos
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George Carlin – It’s a big club and you ain’t in it

George Carlin Exposing the media, the government

Phony Left Right Paradigm – G. Edward Griffin, CFR, Two Party System

The Collectivist Conspiracy – G. Edward Griffin

Ron Paul – Two Party System Farce!

Savage: This is the Most Corrupt, Degenerate, Criminal Gov’t in American History

DONALD TRUMP ON POLITICAL CORRUPTION

Donald Trump Las Vegas FULL SPEECH 12/14/2015 [HD], MASSIVE Nevada Rally Before 5th GOP Debate

The Evolution of America’s Major Political Parties

America’s Two Party System

The Two-Party System is Making America Ungovernable- Intelligence Squared U.S.

The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News

Donald Trump: ‘We Are Led By Very, Very Stupid People’ | MSNBC

Noam Chomsky on stupid people

Noam Chomsky – The Political system in the USA

“Who does control the world?” – Noam Chomsky – BBC interview 2003

Noam Chomsky on Life & Love: Still Going at 86, Renowned Dissident is Newly Married

An Introduction to Robert Dahl’s Who Governs – A Macat Politics Analysis

An Interview with Robert Dahl

George Carlin – Exposing our government and fall of humanity one joke at a time.

George Carlin – Voting is meaningless

Top 10 Casino Games with the Best Odds

The Origins of Yoda

Yoda Wisdom

Bette Midler “Is That All There Is?”

Can CNN Get the Cage Match It Wants in GOP Debate?

By Ed Kilgore

The big variable in all but one of the prior GOP candidate debates has really been the moderators and the format they utilize. There was the first debate on Fox News when Megyn Kelly famously tried to take downDonald Trump, only to illustrate Trump’s strange ability to gain power from negative attention. And there was the CNBC debate, when the candidates staged a revolt against hostile questioning and battened on conservative fury toward even relatively friendly media.

Yes, the last debate, on November 10, sponsored by Fox Business News and The Wall Street Journal, was an exception; the candidates were more or less allowed to regurgitate their standard talking points, and friction among them was largely self-generated. But tonight’s CNN debate in Las Vegas is being openly advertised as a brawl, probably much like theReagan Library CNN debate two months ago, in which moderators (especially Jake Tapper) framed nearly every question by quoting an attack on one candidate by another. Given a format that guaranteed rebuttal time to any candidate mentioned in an answer, the setup guaranteed a combative atmosphere. You can expect a lot more of that tonight.

It’s unclear whether that least lupine of CNN “personalities,” Wolf Blitzer, will be able to maintain a Tapper-like atmosphere of aggressive nastiness, though an even more irenic network star, Anderson Cooper, managed to get tough at a Democratic debate in October. But Blitzer will apparently be scripted as a mean machine, per this preview from Politico’s Alex Isenstadt:

Want a taste of what sort of debate this will be? Just watch the promo CNN has been running for the last month, which features a rapid-fire screenshot of each candidate paired with pulsing background music. Sources briefed on the network’s plans say it’s looking for a two-hour slugfest full of confrontation — the kind of program CNN boss Jeff Zucker loves.

Several campaign aides told POLITICO they expect CNN to begin the debate by pitting individual candidates against Trump – perhaps by asking if they condemn his controversial proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. The tactic would be designed to hook viewers from the get-go.

As for the focus of the debate, the network is tipping its hand: It will be about national security. Over the weekend, CNN aired a promo that showed images of violence in Paris and San Bernardino before cutting to the Republican candidates. “Who will keep America safe?” the voiceover asks. Aides say they’re prepping their candidates for a battery of questions about the Syrian refugee crisis, National Security Agency wiretapping, and Islamic State terrorism.

As for the impact of the format and questions on individual candidates, the only sure thing is that it’s the sort of WWE environment in which Donald Trump has thrived in the past. You can expect Chris Christie and Marco Rubio to take shots at both Trump and Ted Cruz for their relative unwillingness to send U.S. ground troops into Iraq and Syria; I wouldn’t be surprised to see Christie emerge as the star of the show, given its trappings. The other highly predictable feature will be Jeb Bush’s latest effort to give a lift to his floundering but expensive campaign. It’s become fascinating, in a slightly sadistic way, to watch this man struggle against his manifest limitations.

Once the debate has mercifully ended, we will get the usual insta-analysis of winners and losers via snap polls, focus groups, mad campaign spinning, punditocracy, and Twitter. If there is a severe and telling blow suffered by a particular candidate (with Bush and perhaps the insufficiently martial Rand Paul being the most likely candidates for a crash), it will be exaggerated into catastrophe.

So stock up on Red Bull and your favorite brand of jerky and enjoy the show.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/12/cnn-planning-a-brawl-in-gop-debate.html#

In face of criticism, Trump surges to his biggest lead over the GOP field

By Dan Balz and Scott Clement

Following his proposal to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the country, Donald Trump has increased his lead in the Republican primary to its largest margin yet, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The results are the latest sign that Trump’s outspoken comments on immigration and terrorism continue to find an audience among rank-and-file Republicans in spite of sharp condemnation from Democrats, GOP leaders, some of Trump’s rivals and a chorus of world leaders.

The survey puts Trump’s support at 38 percent among registered Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, six points higher than in October and November. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who also is running an anti-establishment campaign, has surged into second place with 15 percent, effectively doubling his support since last month.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ben Carson are tied for third, with 12 percent each. Carson, who with Trump was at the top of the field earlier this fall, saw his support cut roughly in half over the past month. No other candidate in the new poll registers in double digits. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush stands at 5 percent among registered Republicans.

At this point in the campaign, even with the first votes fewer than 50 days away, national polls are not always the reliable predictors of where presidential nominating contests are heading. At this time four years ago, former congressman Newt Gingrich was tied with eventual nominee Mitt Romney on the Republican side. Eight years ago, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani led the GOP field, while Hillary Clinton held a wide lead over then-Sen. Barack Obama among Democrats. Giuliani and Clinton eventually lost.

National surveys can change quickly and sometimes dramatically after voters in the early states begin to register their preferences.

In Iowa, which kicks off the nominating season with caucuses on Feb. 1, Trump trailed Cruz in a Des Moines Register-Bloomberg Politics poll released over the weekend. Trump continues to lead in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary on Feb. 9, but that race has shown fluidity in recent weeks amid jockeying by a group of Republican candidates battling for establishment support.

The Post-ABC survey isn’t all good news for Trump. In a hypothetical ­general-election race, Trump trails Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, by 53 percent to 40 percent among all adults and 50 percent to 44 percent among registered voters. The latter margin is within the range of sampling error.

Beyond that, 69 percent of adults nationally say they would feel anxious with Trump as president, with 49 percent saying they would feel “strongly” so. That compares with just 29 percent of Americans who say they would feel comfortable. In contrast, 51 percent say they would feel anxious with Clinton in the Oval Office, compared with 47 percent who say they would feel comfortable.

Regardless of how attitudes may change in the coming weeks, the survey underscores the degree to which Trump has dominated the GOP race in virtually all respects this year. He has skillfully used a megaphone through the media to spread his views on immigration and terrorism. He has tapped a vein of anger on the right, and he has been a relentless critic of any opponent who appears ready to challenge him.
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In face of criticism, Trump surges to his biggest lead over the GOP field
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The presidential candidate and billionaire businessman leads the field in the Republican race.
Dec. 12, 2015 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in the Convocation Center at the University of South Carolina at Aiken. Chris Thelen/August Chronicle via AP
By Dan Balz and Scott Clement December 15 at 12:01 AM
Following his proposal to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the country, Donald Trump has increased his lead in the Republican primary to its largest margin yet, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The results are the latest sign that Trump’s outspoken comments on immigration and terrorism continue to find an audience among rank-and-file Republicans in spite of sharp condemnation from Democrats, GOP leaders, some of Trump’s rivals and a chorus of world leaders.

The survey puts Trump’s support at 38 percent among registered Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, six points higher than in October and November. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who also is running an anti-establishment campaign, has surged into second place with 15 percent, effectively doubling his support since last month.

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Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ben Carson are tied for third, with 12 percent each. Carson, who with Trump was at the top of the field earlier this fall, saw his support cut roughly in half over the past month. No other candidate in the new poll registers in double digits. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush stands at 5 percent among registered Republicans.

[Explore the complete results of the poll]

Republicans trust Trump on terrorism VIEW GRAPHIC
At this point in the campaign, even with the first votes fewer than 50 days away, national polls are not always the reliable predictors of where presidential nominating contests are heading. At this time four years ago, former congressman Newt Gingrich was tied with eventual nominee Mitt Romney on the Republican side. Eight years ago, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani led the GOP field, while Hillary Clinton held a wide lead over then-Sen. Barack Obama among Democrats. Giuliani and Clinton eventually lost.

National surveys can change quickly and sometimes dramatically after voters in the early states begin to register their preferences.

In Iowa, which kicks off the nominating season with caucuses on Feb. 1, Trump trailed Cruz in a Des Moines Register-Bloomberg Politics poll released over the weekend. Trump continues to lead in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary on Feb. 9, but that race has shown fluidity in recent weeks amid jockeying by a group of Republican candidates battling for establishment support.

[Nasty conflicts in crowd at Trump’s Las Vegas rally]

The Post-ABC survey isn’t all good news for Trump. In a hypothetical ­general-election race, Trump trails Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, by 53 percent to 40 percent among all adults and 50 percent to 44 percent among registered voters. The latter margin is within the range of sampling error.

Beyond that, 69 percent of adults nationally say they would feel anxious with Trump as president, with 49 percent saying they would feel “strongly” so. That compares with just 29 percent of Americans who say they would feel comfortable. In contrast, 51 percent say they would feel anxious with Clinton in the Oval Office, compared with 47 percent who say they would feel comfortable.

Regardless of how attitudes may change in the coming weeks, the survey underscores the degree to which Trump has dominated the GOP race in virtually all respects this year. He has skillfully used a megaphone through the media to spread his views on immigration and terrorism. He has tapped a vein of anger on the right, and he has been a relentless critic of any opponent who appears ready to challenge him.

Play Video1:37Here’s what some people really think of Trump’s ‘ban Muslims’ plan

Condemnation came quickly to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Here are some notable comments. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)
The new poll was taken in the days immediately after Trump came under perhaps the heaviest criticism of the campaign. Early last week, he called for a ban on the entry of Muslims into the United States until U.S. officials could guarantee a more reliable process for screening out potential terrorists.

As in other cases when he has made controversial or questionable statements, however, the widespread criticism of the billionaire reality TV star that followed did not result in any diminution his support among Republicans. That is in large part because 59 percent of Republicans agree with his proposed ban, even as 60 percent of all adults say it is the wrong thing to do.

[Daily 202: Trump may benefit from focus on terrorism in tonight’s debate]

Trump’s dominance over his GOP rivals nationally is seen throughout the poll. He holds huge leads over the other top candidates when it comes to whom Republicans see as the strongest leader in the field, who is most likely to bring change to Washington and who among the field has the best chance of winning a general election.

On who is the strongest leader, 54 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents cite Trump. On the question of who can best shake up Washington, 51 percent name Trump. On the question of who has the best chance of winning in the general election, 47 percent pick Trump. He enjoys 4-to-1 leads over the nearest candidate on strength and changing Washington and a 3-to-1 advantage on who can win.

On two other attributes — honesty and personality — Trump is either first or second, but with only about a quarter of Republicans citing him. He is bunched closely with the four others — Cruz, Rubio, Carson and Bush — who make up the top five.

After major terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., Republicans see terrorism as the most important issue in the election by a wide margin; it is cited by 38 percent, compared with 29 percent who name the economy and just 6 percent who highlight immigration. (Democrats rank the economy as the top issue.)

Asked to choose which candidate among the top five they would trust most to deal with threats of terrorism, half of Republicans cite Trump. Half also say they would trust him to deal with immigration.

The poll underscores the desire for change and the appeal of outsiders among Republican rank-and-file that has been a staple of this political year — though not among all Americans.

Nationally, 57 percent of adults say they prefer someone with experience in the political system as the next president, while 37 percent say they prefer someone from outside the system. Among all Republicans, however, 58 percent say they want an outsider more than someone with political experience. Trump is the overwhelming choice for the nomination among this group.

Trump leads among every demographic and ideological group of Republicans in the survey, but he has significantly greater support among those with less education and lower incomes and among men.

He has the support of 46 percent of white Republicans without college degrees, compared with 29 percent among those with college degrees. Similarly, he does far better among GOP voters whose household incomes are below $50,000 than with those at $50,000 and above. Men are far more likely to say they support Trump than are women, with the gender gap larger than in previous surveys.

Beneath Trump, the shifts in support suggest that many Republican voters are still weighing their options. Cruz’s rise to second in the Post-ABC poll parallels his even more dramatic surge in the Iowa poll. Carson’s decline, which has come amid questions about his foreign policy capabilities, has been reflected in state polls as well. Meanwhile, Rubio has held steady in Post-ABC polls over the past two months.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted Thursday through SundayDec. 10-13 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults reached on conventional and cellular telephones. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The error margin is plus or minus six points among the sample of 362 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-face-of-criticism-trump-surges-to-his-biggest-lead-over-the-gop-field/2015/12/14/b9555e30-a29c-11e5-9c4e-be37f66848bb_story.html

George Washington’s Farewell Address

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President of the United States

George Washington’s Farewell Address is a letter written by the first American President, George Washington, to “The People of the United States of America”.[1] Washington wrote the letter near the end of his second term as President, before his retirement to his home Mount Vernon. Originally published in Daved Claypole’s American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796, under the title “The Address of General Washington To The People of The United States on his declining of the Presidency of the United States,” the letter was almost immediately reprinted in newspapers across the country and later in a pamphlet form.[2] The work was later named a “Farewell Address,” as it was Washington’s valedictory after 20 years of service to the new nation. It is a classic statement of republicanism, warning Americans of the political dangers they can and must avoid if they are to remain true to their values.

The first draft was originally prepared in 1792 with the assistance of James Madison,[3] as Washington prepared to retire following a single term in office. However, he set aside the letter and ran for a second term after the rancor between his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, convinced him that the growing divisions between the newly formed Federalist and Republican parties, along with the current state of foreign affairs, would rip the country apart in the absence of his leadership.[4]

Four years later, as his second term came to a close, Washington revisited the letter and, with the help of Alexander Hamilton, prepared a revision of the original draft to announce his intention to decline a third term in office. He also reflects on the emerging issues of the American political landscape in 1796, expresses his support for the government eight years after the adoption of the Constitution, defends his administration’s record, and gives valedictory advice to the American people.[5]

The letter was written by Washington after years of exhaustion due to his advanced age, years of service to his country, the duties of the presidency, and increased attacks by his political opponents. It was published almost two months before the Electoral College cast their votes in the 1796 presidential election.

Summary

At the same time, the thought of the United States without George Washington as its president caused concern among many Americans. Jefferson, who disagreed with many of the president’s policies and would later lead the Democratic-Republicans in opposition to many Federalist policies, joined his political rival Hamilton, the leader of the Federalists. He convinced the president to delay his retirement and serve a second term, fearing that without his leadership the nation would be torn apart. Washington most likely referred to this when he told the American people that he had wanted to retire before the last election, but was convinced by people “entitled to my confidence” that it was his duty to serve a second term.[6]

Understanding these concerns, Washington sought to convince the American people that his service was no longer necessary by, once again, as he had in his first inaugural address, telling them that he truly believed he was never qualified to be president and, if he accomplished anything during his presidency, it was as a result of their support and efforts to help the country survive and prosper. Despite his confidence that the country would survive without his leadership, Washington used the majority of the letter to offer advice as a “parting friend” on what he believed were the greatest threats to the destruction of the nation.[6]

Unity and sectionalism

Washington begins his warnings to the American people by trying to convince them that their independence, peace at home and abroad, safety, prosperity, and liberty are all dependent upon the unity between the states. As a result, he warns them that the union of states, created by the Constitution, will come under the most frequent and focused attacks by foreign and domestic enemies of the country. In regard to foreign alliances, Washington felt it was necessary to support France and to align with them. Washington warns the American people to be suspicious and look down upon anyone who seeks to abandon the Union, to secede a portion of the country from the rest, or seeks to weaken the bonds that hold the constitutional union together. To promote the strength of the Union, he urges the people to place their identity as Americans above their identities as members of a state, city, or region, and focus their efforts and affection on the country above all other local interests. Washington further asks the people to look beyond any slight differences between them in religion, manners, habits, and political principles, and place their independence and liberty above all else, wanting everyone to be united.[7]

Washington continues to express his support of the Union by giving some examples of how he believes the country, its regions, and its people are already benefiting from the unity they currently share. He then looks to the future by sharing his belief that the combined effort, and resources of its people will protect the country from foreign attack, and allow them to avoid wars between neighboring nations that often happen due to rivalries, and competing relations with foreign nations. He argues that the security provided by the Union will also allow the United States to avoid the creation of an overgrown military establishment, which he sees as one of the greatest threats to liberty, especially the republican liberty that the United States has created.

Washington goes on to warn the American people to question the ulterior motives of any person or group of people who argue that the land within the borders of the United States is too large to be ruled as a republic, an argument made by many Greek philosophers and later during the debate on the proposed purchase of theLouisiana Territory, calling on the people to at least give the experiment of a large republic a chance to work before deciding it cannot be done. He then offers strong warnings on the dangers of sectionalism, arguing that the true motives of a sectionalist are to create distrust or rivalries between regions and people to gain power and take control of the government. Washington points to two treaties acquired by his administration, Jay Treaty and Pinckney’s Treaty, which established the borders of the United States’ western territories between Spanish Mexico and British Canada, and secured the rights of western farmers to ship goods along theMississippi River to New Orleans. He holds up these treaties as proof the eastern states along the Atlantic Coast and the federal government are looking out for the welfare of all the American people and can win fair treatment from foreign countries as a united nation.[8]

The Constitution and political factions

Washington goes on to state his support for the new constitutional government, calling it an improvement upon the nation’s original attempt in the Articles of Confederation, and reminds the people that although it is the right of the people to alter the government to meet their needs, it should only be done through constitutional amendments. He reinforces this belief by arguing that violent takeovers of the government should be avoided at all costs and that it is in fact the duty of every member of the republic to follow the constitution, and submit to the laws of the constitutional government until it is constitutionally amended by the majority of the American people.[9]

Washington warns the people that political factions who seek to obstruct the execution of the laws created by the government, or prevent the constitutional branches from enacting the powers provided them by the constitution may claim to be working in the interest of answering popular demands or solving pressing problems, but their true intentions are to take the power from the people and place it in the hands of unjust men.[10]

Despite Washington’s call to only change the Constitution through amendments, he warns the American people that groups seeking to overthrow the government may seek to pass constitutional amendments to weaken the government to a point where it is unable to defend itself from political factions, enforce its laws, and protect the people’s rights and property. As a result, he urges them to give the government time to realize its full potential, and only amend the constitution after thorough time and thought have proven that it is truly necessary instead of simply making changes based upon opinions and hypotheses of the moment.[11]

Political parties

Alexander Hamilton, the founder of the Federalist Party

Washington continues to advance his idea of the dangers of sectionalism and expands his warning to include the dangers of political parties to the government and country as a whole. His warnings took on added significance with the recent creation of the Democratic-Republican Party by Jefferson, to oppose Hamilton’s Federalist Party, which had been created a year earlier in 1791, which in many ways promoted the interest of certain regions and groups of Americans over others. A more pressing concern for Washington, which he references in this portion of the address, was the Democratic-Republican efforts to align with France and the Federalist efforts to ally the nation with Great Britain in an ongoing conflict between the two European nations brought about by the French Revolution.

While Washington accepts the fact that it is natural for people to organize and operate within groups like political parties, he also argues that every government has recognized political parties as an enemy and has sought to repress them because of their tendency to seek more power than other groups and take revenge on political opponents.[12]

Moreover, Washington makes the case that “the alternate domination” of one party over another and coinciding efforts to exact revenge upon their opponents have led to horrible atrocities, and “is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.” From Washington’s perspective and judgment, the tendency of political parties toward permanent despotism is because they eventually and “gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual.”[13]

Washington goes on and acknowledges the fact that parties are sometimes beneficial in promoting liberty in monarchies, but argues that political parties must be restrained in a popularly elected government because of their tendency to distract the government from their duties, create unfounded jealousies among groups and regions, raise false alarms amongst the people, promote riots and insurrection, and provide foreign nations and interests access to the government where they can impose their will upon the country.

Checks and balances and separation of powers

Washington continues his defense of the Constitution by stating his belief that the system of checks and balances and separation of powers within it are important means of preventing a single person or group from seizing control of the country, and advises the American people that if they believe it is necessary to modify the powers granted to the government through the Constitution it should be done through constitutional amendments instead of through force. This statement takes on added significance from a man who commanded the armies of British colonists who waged an armed rebellion against the British Government, during the American Revolution, and helped build a plan for a new government against the wishes of the acting Articles of Confederation government during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. The French Revolution, which had fallen into a Reign of Terror during Washington’s second term, may have helped shape Washington’s opinion that while armed rebellions may sometimes result in good, they most often lead to the fall of free governments.

This 1866 engraving depicts Washington praying at Valley Forge

Religion, morality, and education

One of the most referenced parts of Washington’s letter was his strong support of the importance of religion and morality in not only promoting private and public happiness, but also in promoting the political prosperity of the nation. He argues that religious principles promote the protection of property, reputation, and life that are the foundations of justice. Washington goes so far as to say that the nation’s morality cannot be maintained without religion and, since morality is necessary in popularly elected governments, religious principle is vital in maintaining the popularly elected government of the United States. He writes:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Washington references religious principle as being the foundation of public morality. He also argues that the American government needs to ensure that “the diffusion of knowledge”[1] throughout the United States is a primary goal, since the government has been created to enforce the opinion of the people and as a result the opinion of the people should be informed and knowledgeable.

Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.

– Letter to Edward Newenham (20 October 1792)

Credit and government borrowing

Washington provides strong support for a balanced federal budget, arguing that the nation’s credit is an important source of strength and security. He urges the American people to preserve the national credit by avoiding war, avoiding unnecessary borrowing, and paying off any national debt accumulated in times of war as quickly as possible in times of peace so that future generations do not have to take on the financial burdens that others have taken on themselves. Despite his warnings to avoid taking on debt, Washington does state his belief that sometimes it is necessary to spend money to prevent dangers or wars that will in the end cost more if not properly prepared for. At these times, argues Washington, it is necessary, although unpleasant, for the people to cooperate by paying taxes created to cover these precautionary expenses.

Washington makes an extended allusion, possibly in reference to the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania which he led a national army to put down, on how important it is for the government to be careful in choosing the items that will be taxed, but he also reminds the American people that no matter how hard the government tries there will never be a tax which is not inconvenient, unpleasant, or seemingly an insult to those who must pay it.

Foreign relations and free trade

Washington dedicates a large part of his farewell address to discussing foreign relations, and the dangers of permanent alliances between the United States and foreign nations; so-called ‘foreign entanglements’.[14] This issue dominated national politics during the French Revolutionary Wars between France and Britain. Federalists favored Britain and the Jeffersonian Republicans favored France. They wanted the U.S. to honor the 1778 Treaty of Alliance, which established theFrance-American alliance, and aid France. Washington had avoided American involvement in the conflict by issuing the Proclamation of Neutrality, which in turn led to the Neutrality Act of 1794. He clearly tries to further explain his approach to foreign policy and alliances in this portion of the address.

Once again making reference to proper behavior based upon religious doctrine and morality, Washington advocates a policy of good faith and justice towards all nations, and urges the American people to avoid long-term friendly relations or rivalries with any nation. He argues these attachments and animosity toward nations will only cloud the government’s judgment in its foreign policy. Washington argues that longstanding poor relations will only lead to unnecessary wars due to a tendency to blow minor offenses out of proportion when committed by nations viewed as enemies of the United States. He continues this argument by claiming that alliances are likely to draw the United States into wars which have no justification and no benefit to the country beyond simply defending the favored nation. Washington continues his warning on alliances by claiming that they often lead to poor relations with nations who feel that they are not being treated as well as America’s allies, and threaten to influence the American government into making decisions based upon the will of their allies instead of the will of the American people.

Citizen Genêt was the French minister who interfered in U.S. politics

Washington makes an extended reference to the dangers of foreign nations who will seek to influence the American people and government. He makes a point to say that he believes both nations who may be considered friendly as well as nations considered enemies will try to influence the government to do their will and it will only be “real patriots” who ignore popular opinion and resist the influence of friendly nations to seek what is best for their own country. Washington had a recent experience with foreign interference, when in 1793 the French ambassador Edmond-Charles Genêt organized demonstrations in support of France, funded soldiers to attack Spanish lands, and commissioned privateers to seize British ships. His mobilization of supporters to sway American opinion in favor of an alliance with France crossed the line and he was ordered to leave.

Washington goes on to urge the American people to take advantage of their isolated position in the world, and avoid attachments and entanglements in foreign affairs, especially those of Europe, which he argues have little or nothing to do with the interests of America. He argues that it makes no sense for the American people to wage war on European soil when their isolated position and unity will allow them to remain neutral and focus on their own affairs. As a result, Washington argues that the country should avoid permanent alliance with all foreign nations, although temporary alliances during times of extreme danger may be necessary, but does say that current treaties should be honored although not extended. (Despite his claim that current alliances should be honored, Washington had in fact through the Proclamation of Neutrality not honored the Treaty of Alliance, which promised aid in case the French were ever attacked by the British.)

Washington wraps up his foreign policy stance by advocating free trade with all nations arguing that trade links should be established naturally and the role of the government should be limited to insuring stable trade, defending the rights of American merchants, and any provisions necessary to insure that the government is able to insure the conventional rules of trade.

Address’s intentions

Washington uses this portion of the address to explain that while he does not expect the advice he has given in this letter to make any great impression upon the people, or to change the course of American politics, he does hope that the people will remember his devoted service to his country.

Defense of the Proclamation of Neutrality

Washington continues to defend his presidency by focusing on his reasoning behind the Proclamation of Neutrality he made during the French Revolutionary Wars, despite the standing Treaty of Alliance with France. Despite this alliance Washington argues that from what he, and his advisors, understood and continue to believe, the United States had a right to remain neutral in the conflict and furthermore that all nations, besides France and Britain of course, have agreed with his stance. Along with stating his belief that justice and humanity required him to remain neutral during the conflict, he also argues that the stance of neutrality was necessary to allow the new government a chance to mature and gain enough strength to control its own affairs.

Closing thoughts

Washington closes his letter to the American people by asking them to forgive any of his failures during his service to the country, assuring them that they were due to his own weaknesses and by no means intentional. The sentences are used to express the excitement he has about joining his fellow Americans as a private citizen in the free government they have created together during his 45 years of public service.

Legacy

To this day, Washington’s Farewell Address is considered to be one of the most important documents in American history[2] and the foundation of the Federalist Party’s political doctrine.

Despite his stated desire to retire from public service, Washington would later accept a commission from President John Adams, although Adams was largely forced into providing the commission by members of the Federalist Party, as the Senior Officer of a Provisional Army formed to defend the nation against a possible invasion by French forces during the Quasi-War.[15] Despite spending months organizing the Officer Corps of the Provisional Army, Washington held true to his statements in his farewell address and declined suggestions that he return to public office by running for reelection in the presidential election of 1800.[15]

Washington’s statements on the importance of religion and morality in American politics, as well as his warnings on the dangers of foreign alliances, although often stated and recognized arguments, were provided special consideration from the pen of an American hero and became common reference during political debates well into the nineteenth century.[2]

Alliances with Foreign Nations

Probably the most import aspect of this section of his address letter was that he urged further presidents to adhere to a two-term limit. Despite his refusal to recognize the obligations of the Treaty of Alliance with France, which the U.S. Congress later annulled in 1798, Washington’s hope that the United States would end permanent alliances with foreign nations would not be fully realized until 1800 with the signing of Convention of 1800 (Treaty of Mortefontaine). The treaty officially ended the 1778 Treaty of Alliance in exchange for ending the Quasi-War and establishing of most favored nation trade relations with Napoleonic France.[16]

In 1823, Washington’s foreign policy goals would be further realized with the issuing of the Monroe Doctrine which promised non-interference in European affairs so long as the nations of Europe did not seek to re-colonize or interfere with the newly independent Latin American nations of Central and South America.

It would not be until the signing of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty,[17] which formed NATO, that the United States would again enter into a permanent military alliance with any foreign nation.

Reading in Congress

In January 1862, during the American Civil War, thousands of Philadelphia residents signed a petition requesting the Congress to commemorate the 130th anniversary of Washington’s birth by reading his Farewell Address “in one or the other of the Houses of Congress.”[5] First read in the United States House of Representatives in February 1862, the reading of Washington’s address became a tradition in both houses by 1899.

In 1984, however, the House of Representatives abandoned the practice.[5] The Senate continues this tradition into modern times, observing Washington’s Birthdayby selecting a member of the Senate, alternating between political parties each year, to read the address aloud on the Senate floor.[5]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington%27s_Farewell_Address

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