Monday, February 19, 2007

One of My Favorite Former Presidents: John Adams

John Adams, 1735-1826
President of the United States, 1779-1801

Founding Father, Foreign Diplomat and Ambassador, Husband Extraordinaire to Abigail---his equal and best friend, first Vice-President of the United States under George Washington, and its second President, John Adams remains one of the foremost characters in early American history.

He is the only early American President who still has no memorial in Washington D.C. dedicated to his service to our country and its founding. A man of less tact and gentility than his more sauve friend and rival, Thomas Jefferson, Adams, a Federalist, was nonetheless a man of the highest intergrity. With Adams one always knew where one stood, like it or not, and that was rarely the case with the more sneaky Jefferson.

Like our current President, John Adams served in turbulent times, and though his controversial foreign policies were ultimately successful, he was perceived as being less effective by the media and his enemies, including Jefferson, his VP.

Jefferson worked diligently behind the scenes to undermine Adams who lost his election to a second term to his unfaithful Vice-President.

Adams departed the White House and Washington, not even staying to attend Jefferson's swearing in as the third President.

Recalling that turn of event years later, Adams noted: " No man who ever held the office of president would ever congratulate a friend on obtaining it."

I'm sure George Bush might agree with Adams at this point. But Adams would tell Bush, if he were still alive, that history has a way of vindicating a great President sooner or later.

Today, I salute a former under-loved and under-appreciated President from our past: John Adams., whose son, John Quincy Adams went on to become the fifth President of our country.

Adams, like Bush today, held on to his principles to the end, even though it cost him popularity in the polls and with the people. My kind of man. Our country needs more like him today.

No comments: