We Deserve Our Leaders

by Jonathan Hamilton

“If worthless men are sometimes at the head of affairs, it is, I believe, because worthless men are at the tail and the middle.” John Adams

And lest we be so ignorant of our own nation’s history to think that America was ever a place where virtue marked the political scene (or the general populace), hear the words of Adams again regarding an election year not yet thirty years into our nation’s existence:

“Our electioneering racers have started for the prize. Such a whipping and spurring and huzzaing! Oh what rare sport it will be! Through thick and thin, through mire and dirt, through bogs and fens and sloughs, dashing and splashing and crying out, the devil take the hindmost.

How long will it be possible that honor, truth or virtue should be respected among a people who are engaged in such a quick and perpetual succession of such profligate collisions and conflicts?”

Our second president, speaking before a half-dozen elections had yet taken place in this nation’s history, saw already what party spirit and unrestrained ambition always accomplish. Since his day, we certainly have not improved.

Just as then, we deserve who we get.