Support the new president as he seeks to rebuild our democracy
I write all Trump followers to call attention to lessons learned from John Adams. Adams was a true, fabled, patriot but no one talks about his on term as the “Federalist” President.
The Country has, however, spent 219 years undoing what it learned from his approach to governing as being counter to maintaining a functioning Republic. Unlike Washington who was a considerate gentlemen in thought and carefully crafted words, Adams thought that the President should rule as a King and he, Adams, deserved to be treated like one.
Adams admitted he was not suited to the details of cabinet meetings and the details of with others thought about administration. He started the “Quasi War” with France over shipping without Congressional Authorization! He signed the Alien and Sedition Act which, in part, said it was illegal to print “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the government or its officials.
Adams then proceeded to label all publishers who did not praise him as purveyors of fake news and proceeded to prosecute and jail them. He turned on his long term compatriot, Thomas Jefferson, who disagreed with him.
Focused on his imperial whims and beliefs and political perception he became involved in disbanding the Army. That eventually encouraged our enemy, the British, to think they could successfully invade which, in part, resulted in the War of 1812.
The Federalist election campaign of 1800 centered on defaming Thomas Jefferson as an enemy of “all who love order, peace, virtue, and religion.” … “libertines and dangerous radicals who favored states’ rights over the Union and would instigate anarchy and civil war.”
Adams lost overwhelmingly and took a carriage out of town early in the morning Jefferson’s inauguration, as the only President who did not attend what Washington started as our peaceful, patriotic, transitions of power. (Adams was a bad, childlike, loser.)
Washington, Jefferson, and our other founders knew a democracy needed to be nurtured to survive and flourish. Measured words, negotiation, and adherence to principles designed to ensure the Rule of Law are what democracy and the United States is about.
John Locke said government is to preserve “life, liberty and property.” Our Declaration of Independence said Government is to promote Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That is why the Courts, Congress, and the Executive historically moved forward in their pursuit to ensure this – not backwards.
Living up to the principles on which we are founded in our Declaration of Independence is the challenge that President-Elect Biden has already taken on when he when he asks us to talk and work in good faith with each other. This is characteristic of true democratic leadership that Adams was not up to. Let’s all do our best permit Biden to rebuild just like Jefferson did in 1801.
Conrad F. Cropsey