When discussing the Constitution of the new Republic, she had warned the future President that the rights of women should by right and logic be included in the document. She saw that in a real democracy, all laws should be written to be consistent with the ideals of equality of rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Abigail Adams saw the essential wisdom of the ideas expressed by Jefferson that have become to be regarded as the embodiment of the ideals of the new nation.
Had her advice been heeded, it is likely that we could have avoided the foolish foreign entanglements started by Madison in 1812. Although he warned us of the dangers of perpetual warfare, Madison succumbed to pressure from his Imperialist friends in the Federalist Party to invade Canada when America was still young and vulnerable. Had Abigail Adams been listened to, we might not have had the situation in which we now find ourselves, confronted by the specter of eternal war in Afghanistan, Iraq and places we do not usually find mentioned in the corporate media today. Had women had a say in decisions of war and peace throughout the history of the Republic, perhaps Americans would have a tradition of being less willing to send its children to war.
The Democratic party was complicit in this shift to corporate rule. Rather than to follow its tradition of working for We the People, they simply accepted as a given that they must adopt the campaign finance practices of Republicans. All Americans could see the endemic corruption of Congress by special interest funding of campaigns and by corporate lobbyists, but differed in their views of its cause and the cure. When fascism is mistaken for socialism, the lack of an educated citizenry became painfully apparent.
Despite this knowledge, he himself contributed to the decay of democracy when he lost faith in the ability of men to rule themselves, the essential component of a democratic society. He ignored Washington’s warning to avoid the rise of factionalism. He left Washington’s cabinet out of pique, leaving foreign affairs to be conducted by men less capable than him. Within a few years and in part through deceit, he used a partisan press to ascend to the Presidency .
Hamilton accepted the idea that the natural aristocracy should benefit disproportionately from the sweat off the brows of the nation’s laborers. A bastard child who never knew his father, he was envious of the privileges of those born to wealth and nobility. Though he earned his position at Washington’s side through hard work, intelligence and service to his country during and after the American Revolution, he gave in to the angels of his lesser nature in seeking to advance his own standing by serving the interests of the wealthy and powerful.
When he ignored a Supreme Court decision recognizing Native American treaty rights, the white majority smiled at his boldness and applauded, proving that Adams' fear of the rabble was not entirely ill-founded. In betraying not only his former foes but the Native Americans who had fought beside him against their fellow tribes and against the British invader, he demonstrated what a nation that tolerated slavery could become.
The Native Americans forcefully evicted from their ancestral homelands bloodied the path of the Trail of Tears. They were sent on their way to the land where rich oilfields lay undiscovered. When this source of wealth was seized by private interests under a claim of Manifest Destiny, they were again displaced by an American government which had already abandoned any pretense of belief in the notion that all men are created equal. This was an early part of what has become a continuing pattern of betrayal and laws and treaties full of false guarantees of equal rights under national and international law.
In the end, Jackson’s populist efforts came to nothing. The National Bank was re-established and in 1913 became the Federal Reserve. This entity has become the most powerful player in the destruction of the American and world economies. Having been granted great power in the new Republic, Jackson established the precedent of seizing Executive power that now threaten democracy itself. In doing so with the support of average Americans, he proved that the fears of the early conservatives of the dangers of mob rule had been justified, though only because they had become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
In believing that men were inherently selfish, those who feared the power of a People to govern themselves had acted accordingly and sowed the seeds of the death of their own child, the infant Republic. Only when we remember that democracy depends on the idea that men and women are inherently good and thus capable of ruling themselves can we defeat fascism in America. When we remember that we are all in this together, we can Take Back America for the People and ensure that the last, best hope for Mankind shall not perish from the Earth.