Trump’s progressive populism has been seen before, and it’s anti-constitutional and devastating to the republic in the long run.
If you are wondering why that pedantic conservative friend of yours corrects you every time you describe our form of government as democracy — “It’s a republic!” he will insist — that is why. Your pedantic conservative friend probably is supporting Ted Cruz. The democratic passions that so terrified Adams have filled the sails of Donald Trump.
What John Adams Knew
by KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON March 18, 2016 4:00 AM @KEVINNR
There is a line from John Adams of which conservatives, particularly those of a moralistic bent, are fond: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” The surrounding prose is quoted much less frequently, and it is stern stuff dealing with one of Adams’s great fears — one that is particularly relevant to this moment in our history.
John Adams hated democracy and he feared what was known in the language of the time as “passion.” Adams’s famous assessment: “I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either.” Democracy, he wrote, “never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.”