Donald Trump Is Aaron Burr Reincarnated


Nearly everyone knows that Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton, but almost nobody knows that Burr was wanted for murder while he was the vice president.  Few people are aware that Aaron Burr was even the vice president at all, and fewer would expect, given the historically serene nature of contemporary politics, that an American vice president has ever been wanted for murder while in office.  Nixon nearly went to prison for eavesdropping.  Bill Clinton was impeached over a series of sexual episodes.  Because of the Hamilton affair, Burr was wanted by two states on charges of homicide.  He essentially spent part of his vice presidency in hiding.

Even stranger than all of these relations is that Aaron Burr was very nearly our third president instead of Thomas Jefferson, who despised Burr’s lack of character despite their being in (what many of the founding fathers claimed to abhor but would very easily pass today for) the same political party.  Burr had been known, as biographer Ron Chernow notes, for his lack of any serious political principles.  He was known for his complete disregard for the sanctity of marriage and was even more infamous for his disregard for the sanctity of trust in general.  He lived in great debt, eventually went by a pseudonym, and was officially charged (and acquitted) by Jefferson of treason.

Other than Hamilton’s death, there was a particular instance that sealed Burr’s infamy.  In the post-colonial era of the early republic, a deadly contagion might sweep across our coast and cause everyone to barricade his town against outsiders.  Thousands would die in waves not unlike those experienced in the Middle Ages; men with carts were shuffling dead bodies around to cries of bring out your dead.  Armed men blocked streets.  Almost all commerce stopped.  Well-intentioned doctors bled their patients to death, and everyone feared that associating with his closest friends could possibly lead to the loss of his family.

It was in light of this fearful climate that a proposal was made to establish a waterworks in Manhattan and thereby improve sanitation – a proposal that quickly gained the approval of the public.  The plan was presented by Aaron Burr to Alexander Hamilton, and from Hamilton’s noble soul to the fearful public.  But unbeknownst to Hamilton, the entire effort was an attempt to establish a bank – a bank intended to fund and support Burr’s anti-federalist political allies (who happened to be Hamilton’s enemies).  At the last moment, right before the bill was to be passed, Burr slipped in a clause that gave him the right to mismanage the funds, and he siphoned the money that could have saved neighbors’ lives entirely toward his own political purposes.  It made Burr the pariah of both parties, while the republicans quietly accepted the political advantages resulting from it.  And this was public before Aaron Burr nearly defeated Thomas Jefferson ina presidential election.

The reason all this is worth mentioning is because a lot of people have been saying that Donald Trump will be the end of the Republican Party.  But someone who believes in reincarnation might easily be led to believe Trump was there for the beginning of the party.  He appears unprincipled and untrustworthy – a man fueled less by spiritual conviction and more by avarice and ambition.  We have been here before, and we have left it behind only to find it again.

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