President Washington, what are your thoughts on American political debate in the new millenium?
Let me now warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable 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, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
What makes you say that?
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms and kindles the animosity of one part against another.
What do you advise?
The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
(Selections from George Washington's Farewell Address)