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Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Lesser of Evils

by Lynn Bergman


John Adams, George Washington's two term Vice President and subsequently the second President of the United States under the Federalist Party banner, is best known as a founding father who assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence and being its foremost advocate in the Congress. Adams lost his race for a second term to Thomas Jefferson under the Republican Party banner which was formed to oppose the centralizing policies of the Federalists. After controlling the presidency and congress from 1801 to 1824, the Republican party splintered into the Jacksonian movement (which ultimately became the Democratic Party in 1828) and the short lived National Republican Party  (succeeded by the Whig Party in the 1830s).


Adams' son, John Quincy Adams, was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later the Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. He became the sixth President of the United states as a Democratic-Republican.


John Quincy Adams' anti-slavery history was examined in detail on C-SPAN where, in summation, his life's evolution concerning slavery was said to closely parallel that of the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. While they both realized slavery was wrong, they feared even more the destruction of the “Great Experiment” due to civil war.


As I gleaned the knowledge of the C-SPAN historians, a sudden realization arose that these leaders of men had both been tormented by the evils of slavery which both men understood would eventually lead to a civil war. Ultimately, as we all realize, it was the Southern states that chose secession and subsequent war over acceptance of abolition.


The first three-quarters of a century of the “Great Experiment” was undermined by the malignant institution of slavery, an abominable scar on our collective history. The last three-quarters of a century has seen the abysmally slow realization that no amount of reparation can “fix” the injustice of the first three-quarter century of our county's existence.


It is my firm belief that the only way our country will ever become fully healed is for each and every individual American to be taught at home and by educators, both public and private, that Love = Work + Courage. It is up to all of us individually to do everything we can to teach our young that no road is to long or too tough to travel if “Work” is the opportunity at road's end. It is also our responsibility to instill in our young the “Courage” to travel those roads that seek the self-love that “Work” represents.


Today, many of our young idealists exhibit “Courage absent Work”, “Work absent Courage”. and most sadly “Neither Work nor Courage”. We must take the time to explain to them our own fulfillment derived from BOTH of these essential elements of “Love”.





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