There are many parallels between the personalities of Donald Trump and the second president of the United States, John Adams. Both Adams and Trump had sizable egos and demonstrated streaks of nearly unmatched vanity. John Adams was instrumental in getting George Washington appointed to lead the colonial army, and yet quickly became jealous of him and even tried to get him fired.
Although a politically patient man, John Adams would verbally lash out anytime he felt under attack. Adam’s personality was off-putting to many—even those who agreed with his politics. Many would oppose Adams on items, merely because he had irritated them so badly in the past. Although not without mistakes, Adams was also an extremely successful president—especially when it came to trade and foreign policy.
As we now look back at Trump’s term at the helm, other parallels of their presidencies are also strikingly similar. This perspective should lead to some despondency on the side of conservatives. When John Adams lost his re-election bid, the result was that the country suffered tremendously for the decades that followed.
The Adam’s example, also allows us to find hope—even if Trump’s legal challenges end in defeat. Although a very important founding father, Adams was not an irreplaceable one. He wasn’t a Washington or a Hamilton. However, even in his election defeat, Adams provided the country with a gift—an individual who saved America for decades to come, during possibly the darkest phase of our country’s history. This period was the presidency of Thomas Jefferson.
John Adam’s gift was an 11th-hour appointment of John Marshall to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Marshall was confirmed well after John Adams had lost—only a month before Thomas Jefferson took office.
The 1800 presidential election that Adams lost to Jefferson was heavily contested. The Never Trumpers of their day had conspired to make sure that Adams was not re-elected. This is what gave Jefferson a chance to win. Even then, Jefferson ended in an electoral vote tie with a third candidate. The selection process came down to the House of Representatives having to vote to select the president. Even this was contested, as it took 36 different votes by the House for a deadlock to finally break with Jefferson prevailing.
During the prior 35 votes, Jefferson and his followers had threatened everything from armed-insurrection, mob-violence, and even disbanding the country if Jefferson wasn’t made president. Sound familiar?
Back on November 2nd, the day before our election, we had many major cities boarding up their buildings to deal with the feared anger of mob violence if Trump had been reelected that evening. That same day, Biden’s campaign manager insisted, “under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night.” Former government officials have demanded that Biden/Harris not concede under any circumstances. Militant arms of the Democratic Party have been on full display for months—leaving destruction and murder in their wake.
Jefferson was a duplicitous person. No one had railed against European tyranny more than he had. No one wanted total power more than he did either. Jefferson liked strife and discord. Years prior, during the ratification process of the Constitution, Jefferson attempted to have 9 states to ratify the document while simultaneously attempting to have 4 states vote against it.
I would contend that Thomas Jefferson was the most corrupt president in our history. When he took office, his party also had control of the Senate and the House. It was the exact scenario that could easily occur after the upcoming U.S. Senate races in Georgia. However, the one area that Jefferson’s party was not in control of was the judiciary. This is where he immediately focused his efforts in order to destroy any opposition.
Biden has spoken about possible maneuvers to take away the perceived conservative majority on the Supreme Court. He has discussed ‘packing’ the court. He has also talked about cycling SCOTUS justices off to other courts. Thomas Jefferson did both. Jefferson more or less even effectively disbanded the Supreme Court for a year and a half. When it returned, he installed people fiercely loyal to his ideals, and yet something odd happened. Justice John Marshall within short order would seemingly change their mindset and turn them into constitutionalists.
This angered and frustrated Jefferson to no end. As John Marshall was patient and stood up to him, Jefferson decided to start the process of impeaching justices whose politics he did not like. Marshall was able to organize the defense of these sham impeachments and get just enough of Jefferson’s loyal base of senators to defect in order to thwart the removals.
At the start of this year, we witnessed the impeachment of a president for the ‘crime’ of being too politically popular and too successful with the economy to beat in an election. His impeachment was spearheaded by the very people who were running against him. This includes several senators who are now actively seeking cabinet positions in Biden’s outfit—not to mention the soon to be vice-president who could in short order be the president herself.
If the Georgia Senate races go to the far-left, it will assure them nearly complete power. We know they will do whatever possible to ‘legally’ nullify the Constitution and target the judiciary. They have told us as much with their own words. If that scenario takes place, we must hope that the appointments of Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett will stem the tide and keep America from progressing down the Marxist road they openly wish to take us.
Jefferson would have turned America into something far different—something incredibly dark. There was one person who slowed him, and that person was Justice Marshall. Marshall was the only one who could successfully counter the genius of Jefferson and out-strategize him. Marshall was the only person capable of turning a Jefferson ally into an American patriot.
It is for this reason that I believe John Marshall to be every bit as important to our history as any other founding father. Marshall countered Jefferson’s eight years in office. He provided the reason and logic that helped slowly turn the following 16 years of Jefferson proteges (Madison and Monroe), into presidents that didn’t expect to exercise their will over the Constitution. It was the ever-polite Marshall, and his three and a half decades on the Supreme Court, that gave the country enough time to be saved again years later by Abraham Lincoln.
I say all this as there still could be a sliver of hope in a Georgia defeat. However, I am wary of banking on a modern-day replica of John Marshall to single-handedly save us for decades to come.
I am not here to claim that Trump is one of the best presidents ever. I certainly am not here to say his personality always made him friends—much in the model of a John Adams it often did the opposite. I can say, however, that the movement Trump created and the down-ticket success he brought the Republican party in 2020, he has provided us a chance to keep our country in the game. He has bought us time to keep things alive until a hero emerges in the future. If the Senate races in Georgia are lost, though, this window of hope may be gone for good.
This is where some other optimism can be gleaned. Thomas Jefferson was a genius. He was a terrible person with a dangerous thirst for power—but he was brilliant. Today, we are not up against the person who wrote the Declaration of Independence and who for decades centralized all Democrat party thought. Although we may be up against lies, fraud, duplicity, and big tech—strategy is not coming from one single source like it did with Jefferson. Although I don’t wish to tempt fate and see if Justice Barrett ends up being this century’s version of John Marshall, I am hopeful we won’t have to. Georgia must be won.
Even to a moderate Biden voter, the far-left’s rhetoric since election day must give some concern. National lockdowns, wealth confiscation, censoring of opinion, and the stated goal of specifically not working in a bi-partisan way is what they have heralded mere weeks after the election.
The Georgia election gives our country with an opportunity to deny a single ideology the complete law-making and executive control they are so hungry for. Regardless of one’s party affiliation or political leaning, preventing this central and complete control gives America a better chance of being recognizable a few years from now.
If not, our country’s small window of hope may be slammed shut.
Anthony Schwartz is a technology entrepreneur from California. He has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MBA from Santa Clara. An expert in early U.S. history, his focus is in finding the relationships between the complex formative years of the country and the political situations of today.