Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and the Era of Not-So Good Feelings

Two hundred years ago today, on March 4, 1817, James Monroe became our nation’s fifth president.  Monroe, the popular secretary of state, had just carried sixteen out of nineteen states in the Electoral College, handily defeating New York Federalist Rufus King.

Monroe’s term is known as the “Era of Good Feelings” because partisan rancor was virtually nonexistent  during his presidency.  Although the nation had several challenges during the Monroe Administration, such as the ongoing question of slavery and an economic depression, President Monroe had little, if any, opposition to his agenda.  In fact, President Monroe was so popular that he stood for reelection unopposed in 1820.

For better or for worse, for right or for wrong, the days of nonpartisan cooperation may be forever lost.  President Donald Trump’s recent tweets clearly evince the vast extent of this acrimonious bifurcation:

As someone who lacks access to the information available to the President, I have no way of knowing if these allegations are completely true, completely false, or somewhere in between.  I simply do not know.

What I do know, however, is that these tweets, when juxtaposed against the news of recent events, clearly demonstrate that a power struggle is underway in Washington, the likes of which we have never seen in our nation’s history.

Case in point.  There has long been a tradition that former presidents wait at least a year before they begin criticizing their successors.  President George W.Bush took this even further, hardly saying anything negative about President Barack Obama during the latter’s term in office.

The same, however, cannot be said about President Obama.

On March 1, 2017, the U.K. Daily Mail — which is not, by any means, a conservative news outlet — reported that Obama-confidante and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett had moved into the Obamas’ new Washington, D.C. residence.   According to the Daily Mail, Jarrett is helping President Obama at “the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump.”

Although representatives of Obama adamantly deny this charge, this Daily Mail article gives some credence to Trump’s assertions, if only to show that Obama would have possessed the requisite motive to spy on Trump last year.  For if Obama is so bent on seeing his successor fail  that he would move Jarrett into his new home to form an insurgency nerve center, then Obama could have been setting traps for Trump while he was still at the White House.

Granted, these accusations may very well be the paranoid speculations of a sleep-deprived septuagenarian.  On the other hand, these charges may be absolutely true in every single respect.  Either way, President Trump has certainly caused a stir with liberal press.

President Trump has marked the 200th anniversary of the start of the Era of Good Feelings by throwing down the gauntlet and declaring war on President Obama.  Only time will tell which president’s legacy will survive the onslaught that will soon follow.

Either way, the Era of Bad Feelings has just begun.

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