LETTER: Founder feared a president on ‘the hobby horse of popularity’

To Ozaukee Press:

While Trump has no ability to become a monarch (he lacks the pedigree), his behavior is nonetheless similar. His desire to become a dictator is clearly in front of us. I do not possess the ability to describe his danger, but Alexander Hamilton did.  His eloquence is on display below.  

Like Hamilton, we should all be fearful of descending into any sort of dictatorship. I pray that the Senate will do its job with the decency such a deliberative body should have, and may they take Hamilton’s warning seriously. I further pray that the Republican senators put aside partisanship in favor of exhibiting the kind of wisdom that will improve, not diminish, our republic.

Hamilton wrote: “When a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits, despotic in his ordinary demeanor, known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty, when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity, to join in the cry of danger to liberty, to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion, to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”

Hamilton’s words were written in a letter to President George Washington as he voiced widespread concerns that office of president of the U.S. might descend into monarchy.

John S. Strauss
Campton Hills, Ill.


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