Nothing is new under the sun regarding fear-mongering between parties

Franklin’s wisdom for US: The bashing of other political parties is nothing new—though distasteful, not always true, and not from a place of goodness.

Franklin wrote this in a letter to the editor of the Pennsylvania Gazette. It shows that the fear-mongering between parties, even in the earliest days of our nation, is nothing new. Back in 1788, it was between the federalists and the anti-federalists.

The full main paragraph is a delight to read and replete with the wise humor for which Franklin is known. Here are a few more quotes from his letter.

But the inconsistence that strikes me the most (is) that between the name of your city, Philadelphia, Brotherly Love, and the spirit of rancor, malice and hatred that breathes in its newspapers.

I have sometimes indeed suspected, that these papers are the manufacture of foreign enemies among you, who write with the view of disgracing your country, and making you appear contemptible and detestable all the world over: But then I wonder at the indiscretion of your printers in publishing such writings!

There is however one of your inconsistencies that consoles me a little, which is, that though living, you give one another the characters of devils, dead you are all angels. It is delightful when any of you die, to read what good husbands, good fathers, good friends, good citizens and good Christians you were, concluding with a scrap of poetry that places you with certainty everyone in heaven. So that I think Pennsylvania a good country to die in, though a very bad one to live in.

Franklin’s call to action for US: Create a discourse of goodness in all political discussions. Minimize foreign influence on increasing rancor and hatred in politics.

Quote on image:

“Your State is divided into parties, that each party ascribes all the public operations of the other to vicious motives; that they do not even suspect one another of the smallest degree of honesty; that the antifederalists are such merely from the fear of losing powers, places, or emoluments which they have in possession or in expectation; that the federalists are a set of conspirators, who aim at establishing a tyranny over the persons and property of their countrymen and to live in splendor on the plunder of the people.”