“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murder’s itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

But we must also remember: this was written in a letter from Adams to John Taylor, 17 December 1814. America had not yet established itself to the Western end of the continent, nor populated itself from shore to shore and all points in between. Adams couldn’t have envisioned what we’ve become today.

It’s been almost 200 years since Adams wrote this, and the great American experiment is still underway. We can only hope we will become the kind of democracy he couldn’t envision, that we are better than he imagined