On Partisanship

Edward Livingston, speaking before the Senate in 1830, had this to say about the cost of political partisanship for partisanship’s sake. Sage words, even 180 years later (bold font mine):

The spirit of which I speak…creates imaginary and magnifies real causes of complaint; arrogates to itself every virtue — denies every merit to its opponents; secretly entertains the worst designs…mounts the pulpit, and, in the name of a God of mercy and peace, preaches discord and vengeance; invokes the worst scourges of Heaven, war, pestilence, and famine, as preferable alternatives to party defeat; blind, vindictive, cruel, remorseless, unprincipled, and at last frantic, it communicates its madness to friends as well as foes; respects nothing, fears nothing.

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