I was reading Adam’s 1797 inaugural speech, where he has this to say about the American people, when faced by the obvious inability of the Articles of Confederation to form a “durable” government for the United States:
“In this dangerous crisis the people of America were not abandoned by their usual good sense, presence of mind, resolution, or integrity. Measures were pursued to concert a plan to form a more perfect union, establish justice… and secure the blessings of liberty. The public disquisitions, discussions, and deliberations issued in the present happy Constitution of Government.”
Just so! As I point out in Truth v. Myth: The Declaration of Independence, the usual course of action when a newborn revolutionary government begins to stumble is to descend into total, bloody civil war, out of which a harsh and reactionary government usually emerges.
Not so in the United States.
Adams goes on to say something that was true of him, and should be true of every president and presidential candidate: “I had the honor to be elected to a station under the new order of things, and I have repeatedly laid myself under the most serious obligations to support the Constitution.”
If we were to vote for presidential candidates based on how much and how well they uphold our laws, our Constitution, our system of government, we would be a much-improved nation. If our lawmakers and politicians were willing to experience serious challenges in their support of our Constitution, we would be a much-improved nation.
For, as Adams asks, “What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem and love?”
A candidate who loves and esteems our form of government. Think of it! Not someone who has a particular agenda, but someone whose particular agenda is motivated by determination to fulfill our mandate as a democratic nation based on promoting natural rights.
That’s who to vote for. Too bad it’s not 1797.