Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell has put country last and endorsed the most dangerous candidate in modern times


Colin Powell has put country last and endorsed the new Aaron Burr


The most important endorsement in U.S. political history came during the presidential election of 1800. The House of Representatives had to choose between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.

Though he had long opposed Jefferson's policies, Alexander Hamilton knew him to be "a patriot and an honorable man." "If there be a man in this world I ought to hate it is Jefferson," he wrote, "but the public good must be paramount to every personal consideration." Hamilton knew that the presidency should not be entrusted to Aaron Burr. Senator Burr was the master manipulator who had created Tammany Hall, the original Democrat political machine.

With a barrage of letters to congressmen and other political leaders, Hamilton won the election for Jefferson:

"Burr loves nothing but himself; thinks of nothing but his personal aggrandizement; and will be content with nothing short of permanent power in his own hands."

"No mortal can tell what his political principles are. If he has any theory, 'tis that of simple despotism."

"There is no circumstance which has occurred in the course of our political affairs that has given me so much pain as the idea that Mr. Burr may be elevated to the presidency."

"Jefferson or Burr? the former without all doubt. The latter, in my judgment, has no principle, public or private; could be bound by no agreement; will listen to no monitor but his ambition, and for this purpose will use the worst part of the community as a ladder to climb to permanent power, and an instrument to crush the better part. He is bankrupt beyond redemption"

"While making [a promise], he will laugh in his sleeve at the credulity of those with whom he makes it. And, the first moment it suits his views to break it, he will do so."

"His public principles have no other spring or aim than his own aggrandizement. If he can, he will certainly disturb our institutions, to secure to himself permanent power."

"This man has no principle, public nor private. As a politician, his sole spring of action is an inordinate ambition."

"[Burr] has no principle, public nor private. As a politician, his sole spring of action is an inordinate ambition. As to his talents, great management and cunning are the predominant features; he is yet to give proofs of those solid abilities which characterize the statesman. Daring and energy must be allowed him; but these qualities, under the direction of the worst passions, are certainly strong objections, not recommendations. He is of a temper to undertake the most hazardous enterprises, because he is sanguine enough to think nothing impracticable; and of an ambition that will be content with nothing less than permanent power in his own hands. The maintenance of the existing institutions will not suit him; because under them his power will be too narrow and too precarious. Yet the innovations he may attempt will not offer the substitute of a system durable and safe, calculated to give lasting prosperity, and to unite liberty with strength. It will be the system of the day, sufficient to serve his own turn, and not looking beyond himself. To execute this plan, as the good men of the country cannot be relied upon, the worst will be used. Let it not be imagined that the difficulties of execution will deter, or a calculation of interest restrain. The truth is, that under forms of government like ours, too much is practicable to men who will, without scruple, avail themselves of the bad passions of human nature. To a man of this description, possessing the requisite talents, the acquisition of permanent power is not a chimera. I know that Mr. Burr does not view it as such, and I am sure there are no means too atrocious to be employed by him. In debt, vastly beyond his means of payment, with all the habits of excessive expense, he cannot be satisfied with the regular emoluments of any office of our government. Corrupt expedients will be to him a necessary resource. Will any prudent man offer such a President to the temptations of foreign gold? No engagement that can be made with him can be depended upon; while making it, he will laugh in his sleeve at the credulity of Disgrace abroad, ruin at home, are the probable fruits of his elevation."

"As to Burr, there is nothing in his favor. His private character is not defended by his most partial friends. He is bankrupt beyond redemption, except by the plunder of his country. His ambition will not be content with those objects which virtuous men of either party will allot to it, and his situation and his habits will oblige him to have recourse to corrupt expedients, from which he will be restrained by no moral scruple. To accomplish his ends, he must lean upon unprincipled men, and will continue to adhere to the myrmidons who have hitherto seconded him. To these he will, no doubt, add able rogues of the federal party, but he will employ the rogues of all parties to overrule the good men of all parties, and to prosecute projects which wise men of every description will disapprove. His ambition will not be content with those objects which virtuous men of either party will allot to it, and his situation and his habits will oblige him to have recourse to corrupt expedients, from which he will be restrained by no moral scruple."

"Mr. Burr is one of the most unprincipled men in the United States, to determine us to decline being responsible for the precarious issues of his calculations of interest. You cannot, in my opinion, render a greater service to your country than by exerting your influence to counteract the impolitic and impure idea of raising Mr. Burr to the chief magistracy. For heaven's sake, exert yourself to the utmost to save our country from so great a calamity. Let us not be responsible for the evils, which in all probability will follow."