Monday, June 18, 2007

Mitt Romney is today's Aaron Burr

(Sorry, I don't have Photoshop so this ghetto mashup of Romney and the third Vice President of the United States is brought to you by Microsoft Paint. )

Anyway, as you probably know, in 1800, Thomas Jefferson overwhelming won the popular vote against John Adams. However, the idiots selected to be electors cast their votes for both Jefferson and Aaron Burr in such a fashion that both had a tie in the Electoral College.

As a result, the election was thrown to the House of Representatives, which was for the moment still controlled by Federalists (but would become overwhelmingly Jeffersonian in a matter of weeks). Rather than be happy with being VP Burr saw an opportunity for power indirectly asked the Federalist to vote him into the presidency in exchange for power in his administration.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist party chief (and ancestor of yours truly), had a tough choice. He hated Jefferson's ideas, believing he would be a disaster. He hated Burr personally, because as a fellow New Yorker and banker, had seen how loathsome Burr was as a human being. After tortuous deliberation, Hamilton decided "Jefferson is to be preferred. He is by far not so dangerous a man and he has pretensions to character."

By contrast Burr's "private character is not defended by his most partial friends... His public principles have no other spring or aim than his own aggrandizement... If he can he will certainly disturb our institutions to secure himself permanent power and with it wealth..." As V. Lowry Snow put it "Hamilton recognized that Burr was dangerous not because he took a strong stand for what he believed in, but precisely because he took no stand and believed in nothing but himself."

Is it just me, or was the first Treasury Secretary and the author of our national economy describing the former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Mitt's views on everything have changed to suit his electorate--Abortion, Stem Cell research, Guns, Gays, pardons, taxes, even the articles his own faith.

When Burr ran for Vice President, Hamilton said: "Mr. Burr is determined, as I conceive, to climb to the highest honors of the state. He is bold, enterprising, and intriguing, and I feel it is a religious duty to oppose his career." Likewise, I feel honor bound to oppose Romney's rise to the Oval Office.

3 comments:

Alienated Wannabe said...

Dear David,

First of all, it is WAY COOL that you are descended from Alexander Hamilton. However, despite my own frustration with the Governor's campaign "flip-flops," I believe that you do him a great disservice by comparing him to Aaron Burr.

I actually have come to see him as being the best candidate in the race. I hope he wins.

Your Friend,
A.W.

Doug H. said...

I would be interested in hearing more detail about your genealogical relationship with Alexander Hamilton .... Douglas Hamilton, 5th GGS

Oldenburg said...

Doug-

My understanding is that my mother's father's (great) grandfather on his mother's side is Hamilton's son.

I have to go to the LDS family history library one of these days to make sure my family tree I made on a poster when I was about your age is actually true.

Thanks for the question, Doug.