History is often not emphasized in some elementary and high schools around the country. Unfortunately, those protesting on college campuses might want to go back in class and take a refresher class, mandated by the University. It might be more productive and open some eyes that this election is final and transitions may or may not be smooth as hoped for. It is all part of our democracy. If we give ourselves a chance to recompose with new leadership, students may finish exams and actually get through their education.
Here are some transitions in history that we can consider.
- 1828 John Quincy Adams had to run away from a mob. (“Ladies fainted, men were seen with bloody noses and such a scene of confusion took place as is impossible to describe.”) Whole Story on the mob
- 1860 States seceded from nation after Abraham Lincoln’s election
- 1932 Hoover and Roosevelt called each other names.
- 1952 Truman and Eisenhower were suspicious of tricks.
- 1969 Lyndon Johnson said Nixon had “blood on his hands” concerning Vietnam.
- 1980 Reagan felt sorry for Carter. “Though he profoundly disagreed with Carter on policy issues, Reagan harbored no mean-spiritedness toward Carter… It’s usually the loser that is full of sour grapes.” (Ed Meese)
Twenty years later, Harry S. Truman prepared to hand over the reins of the presidency to Dwight Eisenhower. The two men had once been allies, working together in the last days of World War II, but had fallen out over what Truman regarded as Eisenhower’s silence on Senator Joe McCarthy. “He has betrayed almost everything I thought he stood for,”Truman said. The transition itself didn’t go well, either. “Ike and his advisers are afraid of some kind of trick,” Truman wrote in his diary. “There are no tricks.”
President Carter met with Ronald Reagan after the 1980 election that swept Reagan to the White House. A news article from the time describes Carter saying: “We have a very good working relationship.” Personal relations between the two men were cool, however. Carter acknowledged as much in an interview two years later. In his book The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House, Douglas Brinkley, the historian, describes the sniping between the Carter and Reagan camps during the transition, as well as an alleged slight directed at Rosalynn Carter by Nancy Reagan. About the meeting between the two men, he wrote: “Reagan left the meeting impressed by Carter’s ‘graciousness’ and ‘mastery of detail.’”
Descent and protest is part of our free speech in America. Destruction and violence is a different story and should be prosecuted. It is a difficult job for police and those in charge of keeping the peace…and as much as possible bringing about a peaceful transfer of power. Setting the tone for this should be a priority for our Educational Institutions, out-going politicians and Americans in general.
Change is inevitable as it has always been in the past…smooth or not smooth is what we make it.
The Out-Going Family
The In-Coming Family
Hang in there. This too shall pass and life will go on…even if students think theirs have come to an end. Now, you are smarter than that!