Discussion 2: The Impact of Partisanship
President George Washington noted in his famous Farewell Address in 1796 about political parties “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” (Washington’s Farewell Address).
In an era of political partisanship that has led to seemingly never-ending gridlock on Capitol Hill in the United States, one might ask whether President Washington’s famous comments have come to fruition.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4
Post your view of the wisdom of Washington’s comments. Analyze the impact of the current partisan environment on public policy. Include whether this partisanship is a deleterious “new normal” that undermines the national public policy process. Explain whether the division between Democrats and Republicans today ultimately leads to important debates about policy prescriptions that result in better-designed policy proposals.