This is what George Washington said in 1796 of political parties:
They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.Wise words. Like many people, I no longer understand the Republican Party - but I also uncomfortable embracing the Democrats. I am Independent. So are a lot of people these days.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are 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.
What Independent Voters Want - WSJ
What's fascinating is that many of these new Independents are fiscally conservative, socially progressive, strong on security ... all values that a generation ago were associated with the Republicans.