President Barack Obama, intent on gaining bipartisan support for his economic stimulus package, traveled from the White House to Capitol Hill for a meeting with congressional Republicans. What would Ben Franklin say about President Obama’s get-together with the opposition in Congress?
Here’s what he once said: “If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.”
And what would Franklin say about the evolution of contentious political parties in our nation?
Here’s what he said: “It is true that in some of our states there are parties, and discords; but let us look back and ask if we were ever without them? Such [parties] will exist wherever there is liberty; and perhaps they help to preserve it. By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different factions which at present divide us, aim all at the public good; the differences are only about the various modes of promoting it. Things, actions, measure and objects of all kinds, present themselves to the minds of men in such a variety of lights, that it is not possible we should all think alike at the same time on every subject, when hardly the same man retains at all times the same idea of it. Parties are therefore the common lot of humanity, and ours are by no means more mischievous or less beneficial than those of other countries, nations, and ages, enjoying in the same degree the great blessing of political liberty.”