Thursday, March 18, 2010

Food for Thought...

I have written no posts this week because I have been immersed in research for two 15 page papers, the drafts of which are due next week. Both papers are about topics in early American history, and there is a multitude of interesting and thought provoking writing from that period. In Stephen E. Ambrose's classic work, Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, political partisanship is often discussed in regards to the planning of the Lewis & Clark expedition and the purchase of Louisiana territory. Ambrose wrote, "Angry partisanship was the order of the day. Senator John Quincy Adams complained in his diary, 'The Country is so totally given up to the spirit of party, that not to follow blindfold one or the other is an inexpiable offense.'"

How interesting that we find ourselves once again at this point in contemporary times. In 1803, the partisanship was between federalists and democratic republicans (Jeffersonians). Now, of course, it is between democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives. Extreme partisanship and subsequent weak voting are dangerous to the progress and strength of our country. My hope for this generation is that we learn to vote on each issue using rational thought and personal values rather than continue the practice of "blindfolded" party voting that is splitting this country in two.

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