Tuesday, September 23, 2008

John Adams and the Revolution

I am currently enjoying a biography on John Adams entitled "A Party of One." The theme is how Adams, despite being a fairly devout Whig, was not afraid to do his own thing and follow his principals, despite public opinion perhaps weighing against him. For example, he successfully defended the British officers charged in the Boston Massacre. Not that he wasn't a Revolutionary - he actually did tons of the dirty work (the paperwork and legal stuff) that helped pull off the Revolution. However, he felt the officers were being railroaded and that they were merely acting in self defense.

One of the underlying themes of the book is that Adams was a pretty serious guy, with Puritan values grounded in hard work. And while Franklin, Hancock, and even Couzin Sam may be more celebrated, John Adams' nose to the grindstone approach, along with his intelligence and truly Revolutionary spirit, helped get a lot done.

As I may have mentioned, I remain fascinated by the Founding Fathers of our Country. These were mostly well-to-do men (except for maybe Sam Adams, who was a rabble rousing radical), who risked everything to make this revolution succeed. Perhaps, they were just keen enough to sense that the American people were pushing toward a Revolution and smart enough to get in front of it, so as not to be swept under- but nonetheless, there were great risks involved and the Revolutionaries managed to triumph over one of the greatest powers in the world at the time.

It was a great upset, which today, I think still resonates in Americans habit of cheering for "the underdog" in a sports match. Which, of course, brings us to Iraq.... I'll let you draw your own parallels or paradoxicals, if you will



DrD said...

You'll like Jim Kunstler's latest blog entry, "Falling into Fall." He mentions the Whigs and how history may not repeat itself but it typically rhymes with itself.

He also compares Barak Obama to Abraham Lincoln, who was trying to re-frame the debate in America.


Ralph said...

I like the Lincoln-Obama comparison, except Obama is at some point going to have to show the conviction/cojones that Lincoln had. Unfortuntely, or maybe fortunately for the current Republican crowd, Palin seems to have the biggest balls of all on tis campaign trail!


DrD said...

Shimmons says there is no way Obama can win..."too many powerful forces against him."

Besides, if they can beat Al Gore, they can beat Obama--even if it has to be stolen.

Shimmons also says that the "victor" will be taking over the shittiest job in the world: Cleaning up after GW.

That's the word fom DC.


Ralph said...

It's still the president of one of the more powerful countries on earth. It can't be that bad of a job...

DrD said...

If the president could function more like a king, with a harem and such, it might be worth it.

However, as it stands today, there is so much scrutiny of personal life that I really don't see the perks.

That's part of the problem with the US Presidency: the more qualified people don't want the job because it exposes them and their families to daily personal scrutiny and often entirely deranged attacks.

That's how we end up with chumps like W.