On January 20th, 2021 the sun will rise in Washington D.C. at 7:23 AM. By the time the sun sets at 5:15 PM President Trump and his family will be in Mar-a-Lago, their Palm Beach, Florida home. After four years of serving the Nation, Donald Trump will be given little time to reflect on the next chapter of life.
His political and media adversaries are determined to multiply their malevolence towards the man with more than 75 million supporters. The question is how will that serve the Nation?
There’s little surprise the Trump’s opted to leave town before the 46th inauguration ceremonies begin. Haters consider this social snub yet another ‘outrage’. The chant is as predictable the number of hours between dawn and dusk. However, this particular pass on presidential protocol has precedent that proves the cliche,’ history really does repeat itself.’
On March 4th,1801 the sun rose in Washington DC at 6:40 AM. Uninterested in attending the inauguration of his successor, President John Adams left the White House in a pre-dawn stage-coach ride, headed for his Quincy, Massachusetts home, Peacefield. Succeeded by a man who had once been his Vice President, and a friend, Adam’s believed Democrat Thomas Jefferson became the president of the country-in-chaos by successfully manipulating the media and conspiring with political allies to steal the election.
Like the contest of 2020, the process of deciding the presidency in 1800 was disorganized. Political rallies relied on the media to inform voters. Partisan politicking wrote every headline.
Supporters of Jefferson’s accused Adams of being an insane egomaniac, and a misogynistic monarchist. In turn, the party of Adams circulated rumors of Jefferson’s atheism, affairs with slaves, and predicted he would lead the country into a ruinous revolution from the newly built White House.
Party insiders, lead by Alexander Hamilton, sabotaged Adams’ reelection bid. Opting to use whatever influence necessary to build a personal power base, Hamilton expected Jefferson’s tenure to be an anomaly. He wrote, “Better to purge Adams and let Jefferson govern for a while than water down the party’s ideological purity with compromises.”
After the political pugilism ended the nation of sixteen states relied on the electoral college to declare Jefferson won the election. In defeat Adams summed up his loss by saying ” No party that ever existed knew itself so little or so vainly overrated it’s own influence and popularity as ours. None ever understood so ill the causes of it’s own power, or so wantonly destroyed them.”
The divisive election-cycle irreparably damaged the Federalist party of George Washington and John Adams. Adam’s vision of what America could be, was dismantled in bitterness.
Often considered rough around the edges, Adams was known to scream “Thanks to God that He gave me stubbornness when I know I’m right” yet, the transition of power was peaceful. The man known as the Father of the Navy left Washington quietly and far earlier than many predicted. Adams spent the remainder of his years at Peacefield working in his apple orchard, that was a revenue stream, and occasionally writing his autobiography.
History now judges the second president of the United Sates to have been a patriotic man of wisdom with a meaningful but under appreciated career in public service. In retrospect, his leadership style was considered moral with respect for the rule of law that encouraged American individualism while honoring peaceful co-existence with foreign nations.
Could it be when Donald Trump leaves the White House for Mar-a-Lago history will come full-circle and Americans realize too late he was a patriotic man of wisdom with a meaningful but under appreciated career in public service? As bitter headline writers and partisan politicians dismantle President Trump’s vision for America, time will decide what could have been.
President John Adams died at 90 years old in his Peacefield home on July 4th 1826,on the 50th anniversary of America adopting the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson died at 83 years old, on the same day, hours before Adams.