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 demeanour — 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 & bringing it under suspicion — to flatter and fall in with all the non sense 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.”
-- Alexander Hamilton, 1792
I found this quote the other day – a comment made on Hemant Mehta's Friendly Atheist website – and it did well and truly put a knot in my gut for what (or WHO!) it describes, well over 200 years before said person appeared on the current scene. Ignore the “military habits” for a moment and focus on the rest, and what Hamilton outlines is frighteningly descriptive of our current chief executive.
Similar people were doubtless about in his time and gave rise to the above commentary, but the time itself was very different, particularly with regard to media and news. There is also the matter of the newness of our country 200 years ago and the possibility that with that newness there was an elevated sense of its vulnerability and heightened desire to defend its principles. Regardless, it is safe to say that such attitudes have relaxed in the two centuries since, to the point where we have had a sham of an impeachment trial with no witnesses called nor evidence presented, which will see the accused acquitted in a matter of days. Doubtless, the madness he has spawned to this point will careen onward, spurred by his perception of his invincibility, until and if a stop is put to him, most likely by the ballot box, this November 3rd.
And even then, we may not be safe, depending on how much influence Trump has glommed up by that time. I do not say it lightly that we are in deep shit, people, and we need to watch out for ourselves and each other and speak out loudly and forcefully against any further attempts to arrogate yet more power to himself between now and then.
The last thing in this world I want to be is an alarmist … but the fact is that I’m scared, scared for our country and for us … and I will do what I can to stop this business before it evolves beyond our control.