quotations about political parties
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
JOHN ADAMS, letter to Jonathan Jackson, October 2, 1789
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.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, speech, March 6, 1956
In truth I care little about any party's politics--the man behind it is the important thing.
MARK TWAIN, letter to W. D. Howells, September 14, 1876
The person who uncritically embraces any party line is guilty of an idolatrous surrender of her core identity.... Neither liberal fairy dust nor conservative hardball addresses our ragged human dignity.
BRENNAN MANNING, Abba's Child
A curious condition of a republic based roughly on the original Roman model is that it cannot allow true political parties to share in government. What then is a true political party: one that is based firmly in the interest of a class be it workers or fox hunters. Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism.
GORE VIDAL, The United States of Amnesia
Party leads to vicious, corrupt and unprofitable legislation, for the sole purpose of defeating party.
JAMES FENIMORE COOPER, The American Democrat
Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
GEORGE ORWELL, Politics and the English Language
The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, The Outlook, July 27, 1912
A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.
JOHN STUART MILL, On Liberty
Much indeed to be regretted, party disputes are now carried to such a length, and truth is so enveloped in mist and false representation, that it is extremely difficult to know through what channel to seek it. This difficulty to one, who is of no party, and whose sole wish is to pursue with undeviating steps a path which would lead this country to respectability, wealth, and happiness, is exceedingly to be lamented. But such, for wise purposes, it is presumed, is the turbulence of human passions in party disputes, when victory more than truth is the palm contended for.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Timothy Pickering, July 27, 1795
I was no party man myself, and the first wish of my heart was, if parties did exist, to reconcile them.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 6, 1796
Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few.
ALEXANDER POPE, "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal, whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent: for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead. However, such instruments are necessary to politicians; and perhaps it may be with states as with clocks, which must have some dead weight hanging at them, to help and regulate the motion of the finer and more useful parts.
ALEXANDER POPE, "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
A party is the vanguard of a class, and its duty is to lead the masses and not merely to reflect the average political level of the masses.
VLADIMIR LENIN, speech on the agrarian question, November 14, 1917
Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts.
EUGENE J. MCCARTHY, Chicago Tribune, September 10, 1978
Political parties are like poets, born, not made.
HENRY FORD, "Parties Are Born, Not Made", Ford Ideals
The morality of a [political] party must grow out of the conscience and the participation of the voters.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Autobiography
It is sometimes easier to form a party than to attain by degrees the head of a party already formed.
LUC DE CLAPIERS, MARQUIS DE VAUVENARGUES, Reflections and Maxims
Of the two great political parties which have divided the opinions and feelings of our country, the candid and the just will now admit that both have contributed splendid talents, spotless integrity, ardent patriotism, and disinterested sacrifices to the formation and administration of this Government, and that both have required a liberal indulgence for a portion of human infirmity and error.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1825