On this Constitution Day, pause to ponder the words of David Crockett on partisan politics.
But, much indeed to be regretted, party disputes are now carried to such a length, and truth is so enveloped in mist and false representation, that it is extremely difficult to know through what channel to seek it.—Washington, to Pickering (1795).
To Vote My Conscience.
BUT one good thing was, and I must record it, the papers in the district were now beginning to say “fair play a little,” and they would publish on both sides of the question. The contest was a warm one, and the battle well-fought; but I gained the day, and the Jackson horse was left a little behind. When the polls were compared, it turned out I had beat Fitz just two hundred and two votes, having made a mash of all their intrigues. After all this, the reader will perceive that I am now here in Congress, this 28th day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four; and that, what is more agreeable to my feelings as a freeman, I am at liberty to vote as my conscience and judgment dictates to be right, without the yoke of any party on me, or the driver at my heels, with his whip in hand, commanding me to ge-wo-haw, just at his pleasure. Look at my arms, you will find no party hand-cuff on them! Look at my neck, you will not find there any collar, with the engraving
But you will find me standing up to my rack, as the people’s faithful representative, and the public’s most obedient, very humble servant,
—A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee, David Crockett (1834).