The John Adams Society

Jason D. Hoffman

Chairman

David W. Downing

Secretary

G. Larry Colson Jr.

Chief Whip

Marina Wolff

Chancellor

DECEMBER 2017

"Nice guys! Look over there. Do you know a nicer guy than Mel Ott? Or any of the other Giants? Why, they’re the nicest guys in the world! And where are they? In seventh place! Nice guys! I’m not a nice guy – and I’m in first place."

― Brooklyn Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher, as quoted by sportswriter Frank Graham in The New York Journal-American.

AS THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD and a symbol of democracy, the occupant of the Office of the President has always been expected to exhibit a certain level of grace, maturity, diplomacy, dignity and tact, attributes honed during a successful career in business, the military, or government. A President needs to be the president of all the people. He must respect the opinions of his fellow Americans, even if they differ from his own. A President must be a unifier, bringing the country together. We need a president who understands that building coalitions and making compromises are the only ways anything lasting can get done.

Yes, a President must speak candidly and honestly, but he also accepts responsibility. The buck, as President Truman said, stops here. A bully, on the other hand, never accepts blame or responsibility. A bully makes everything personal and invites personal attacks, dragging down the Office of the President, political discourse, and the nation itself. A bully wages Twitter wars with professional athletes, twisting even our shared love of sport into a force that divides us.

ON THE OTHER HAND, once the election is over, it’s no longer a popularity contest. Leaders must lead, and sometimes there are hard decisions to be made. The President must have the courage to act in defiance of public opinion and polls when the national interest requires it. Richard Nixon, who exhibited "all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile," opened relations with China and finally got the U.S. out of Vietnam. Conversely, Jimmy Carter was said to be "such a nice man," but his term is remembered for sweaters and hostages. As the familiar, bumper-sticker version of the Leo Durocher quote succinctly puts it: Nice guys finish last.

THE CHAIRMAN, who loves three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwiches with arsenic sauce, has called a debate to settle the topic:

RESOLVED: You're a Mean One, Mr. Trump.

The Debate will be held on December 6, 2017, at the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, in Saint Paul. The Chancellor will preside over drinks beginning at seven o’clock p.m. The debate will begin at half past seven. There is no dress code, however gentlemen who wish to speak must wear a tie; ladies are encouraged to adhere to a similar sartorial standard. For those gentlemen arriving sans tie yet wishing to discourse on the resolution, the Purveyor of Ties will keep on hand several remarkable selections. Questions regarding debate caucus procedures or about the John Adams Society itself may be directed to the Chairman at (651)245-6991 or the Secretary at (651)485-1699.