Principle over Party: We Were Warned About “Factions”

By: Michael Boldin

“I would quarrel with both parties, and with every individual of each,” John Adams wrote in 1763, “before I would subjugate my understanding, or prostitute my tongue or pen to either.”

He sure didn’t mince words. 

And neither did many other leading founders who warned us of the dangers of rule by party, or what they more commonly called “factions.”

Adams himself repeated the warning in a 1780 letter to Jonathan Jackson.

“There is nothing I dread So much, as a Division of the Republick into two great Parties.”

He was far from alone. 

In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned us that rule by faction would lead to “a more formal and permanent despotism.”

He put it this way. “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”

If we aren’t there already, things are pretty darn close.

But none of this should be a surprise. This is the nature of government and power.

As Patrick Henry put it in a 1788 speech, “That Government is no more than a choice among evils … has been a standing maxim for ages.”

This is why you’ll never see the TAC pandering to a political party, or changing our positions based on which team is in charge in Washington D.C. 

For us, it’s principle over party – all the time. And that means we stand for the Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses.