TTP: The Mystery of the Second Time


I read today that only twice in the American Experience have we had a string of three two-term American presidents. Credit for this observation goes to George Will, a respected conservative columnist.

Place this fact alongside my previous post, my explanation of our first Donald Trump-like president—Andrew Jackson. Do you have a guess as to when the first three-part string of two-termers occurred? I’ll help you out—from 1801 to 1825. Keep going. That’s Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, all Virginians and all members of the Democratic-Republican Party (yes, it was called that!).

Keep going still. Guess who emerged at the end of that period, 1824, as a national presidential candidate?

I hope you nailed it.

Yes, Andrew Jackson.

Jackson lost the 1824 election to John Quincy Adams by a whisker. The hotly disputed election had no clear winner and had to go to the House of Representatives for final resolution. JQ Adams secured enough votes in the House only after he cut a deal with Henry Clay for his support. Clay, in turn, was named Secretary of State in the Adams Administration.

Andrew Jackson raged, “Corrupt bargain!” He began the next presidential campaign just days after Adams took office in 1825. As you know from my previous post, Jackson won the presidency in 1828 and then again in 1832.

So here we are in 2017. We’ve elected another Andrew Jackson-like president or, if you prefer, Andrew Jackson was the first Donald Trump-like president in the White House. And like before, this Jackson/Trump figure is once more slamming the door shut on a three-part string of two-term US presidents that began in 1993 and closes in 2017.

Take a moment and repeat the facts I’ve laid out before you. In addition to sharing many leadership qualities (as we saw in the previous post), we now know that Jackson and Trump also shared the result of stopping a sequence of twice-elected presidents, either immediately in a national election or in one soon thereafter.

The present is a portal where past and future both meet and collide along a jagged edge.

Action-Point: when an aspect of continuity ends or dies, the effect will intensify the appearance of chaos.

Next time: how ending a three-piece line of two-term presidents impacts Jackson and Trump’s leadership in the White House.