Hamilton was advocate of executive power
December 5, 2019
To The Eagle:
Ron Chernov makes it clear in his biography of Alexander Hamilton that the man was an advocate of strong executive power, yet also envisaged the rise of a demagogue who would put liberty and the rule of law at risk and place his own interests before those of the country.
Hamilton seemed to anticipate our current moment, when he wrote to George Washington in 1792, that:
“ When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity - to join in the cry of danger to liberty - to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government and bringing it under suspicion - to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”
Hamilton wrote two federalist essays about how the country might protect itself from the crimes and misdemeanors of such a scoundrel through impeachment.
Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee opened the public hearings on impeachment, stating:
“If we find that the president of the United States abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections. . . must we simply get over it? Is this what Americans should now expect from their President? If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?”
David Remnick, in The New Yorker, intoned that “impeachment is a grave business and the risks are manifest. But no democracy can overlook evidence of abuse of power, bribery, and obstruction in the hope that an election will set things right. The President has made it plain that he will welcome outside interference again if it helps him win reelection.
“The focus of Congress on that particular outrageous abuse of the public trust will have to suffice for now because these hearings and a potential Senate trial will never get to the full range of Donald Trump’s corruption.”