Adams and Jefferson
An Ethical Battle

There is, in all human history, an internal and external disconnect intellectually with many politicians. The internal disconnect centers around the ethical issues of that society. Often, the politicians either don't understand or don't accept the ethical standards. The internal disconnect is often reflected in their external disconnect when dealing with those who they govern. Either they don't understand the ethics or are afraid of making ethical decisions.

Thomas Jefferson is often lauded as a great leader and/or a statesperson for freedom. Either the Americans don't understand his disconnect, or they don't care. Jefferson is eulogized for his assertion, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal...." The problem with that statement is that it is the basis for racism and sexism. All men for Jefferson weren't created equal and certainly that is true regarding women.


Thomas Jefferson

No one knows where Jefferson was internally on the issue of racism and sexism. We do know that his external expressions were inequality for blacks as well as women. Did he have some inkling that all people were equal regardless of race and/or sex.

Description: Official Presidential portrait of John Adams (by John Trumbull, circa 1792).jpg

John Adams

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were poles apart when it came to issues of sexism and racism. In fact, Adams might have been aware of Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings long before James Callender wrote an exposé about it. This conjecture is based upon letters that Adams wrote to his two sons and especially one letter to Charles. Instead of calling Jefferson out regarding his sexual relationship with Hemings, Adams alluded to the early Roman legend of Egeria. Egeria was a water nymph and had some tie in with childbirth. She also was the consort of Numa Pompilius. He succeeded Romulus as the Roman ruler.  

In Adam's letter to Charles, he writes,

Mr Jefferson is going to Montecello to Spend his Days in Retirement, in Rural Amusements and Philosophical Meditations— Untill the President dies or resigns, when I suppose he is to be invited from his Conversations with Egeria in the Groves, to take the Reins of the State, and conduct it forty Years in Piety and Peace. (This is from the National Archives.)

In the late 18th century, the term conversations meant that two people had sexual relationships. While Adams' letter to Charles on January 2, 1794 doesn't explicitly write that Jefferson and Heming had sex, it certainly implies that.


Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson

So, the past several hundred words of this essay were interesting from a historical perspective. What relevance does this story have for us today over two centuries after the fact? George Santayana has an answer, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Enter Donald the Dumb. The parallels are striking. Look at the list of women who claim the Donald had unwanted sexual conduct with them.


The Donald and locker-talk

The Donald's wife called the Donald's dealing with women as merely locker room talk. Additionally, the Donald was going to sue all the women who accused him of sexual misconduct after the election, which was three months ago. At least, Jefferson had some feelings toward Sally Hemings beyond merely having sex. In fact, Jefferson and Hemings had probably six children.

In addition, both Jefferson and the Donald had racial issues. Jefferson was a slave owner, and the Donald disses all Muslims because of terrorism and Mexicans as rapists and druggies.

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

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Donald the Dumb

Donald the Dumb

Visit the Donald the Dumb page to read more about this topic.