The Quality of Success

Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper 68, 1788:

Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper 68, 1788:

“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: ‘For forms of government let fools contest, That which is best administered is best,” yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.”

The 2016 Electoral College consisted of 538 electors with the ability to prevent the election of a candidate clearly possessing the undesirable traits described by Alexander Hamilton. The process failed. No objective person will deny Donald Trump’s administration has been disastrous. This has increased danger for all citizens.

We have another chance to reduce the level of danger. The impeachment process will give Republicans the opportunity to change the course of the Ship of State in full view of all citizen passengers. Impeachment articles will pass the House vote and send the president to trial in the Senate. Republican Senators will either “re-elect” Donald Trump or make history by showing no one is above the law.


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