The 2nd POTUS
George Washington: My dear sirs, I have called you to this chamber to beg from each of you your indulgence. As the Convention has seen fit to elect your humble servant to the office of President of our newly formed republic, I find the great necessity to seek the company and the confidence of those who share my devotion to the cause for which so much blood was spilt.
Thomas Jefferson: Indeed, Mr. President, the waters we are about to navigate are uncharted.
Alexander Hamilton: Agreed, Mr. Jefferson. Mr. President, the honorable Jefferson, known as well throughout these former colonies as at the courts of Europe, speaks wisely. Each and every action you perform within the parameters of your official capacity will be a first of its kind. Therefore, much circumspection will attend your every move. I perceive this gathering, then, to be perhaps a first among firsts. In short, sir—I beg your forgiveness, but I must pose the question—for what purpose have you summoned us?
Washington: Forgiveness, Mr. Hamilton, is neither to be requested by you nor granted by me. We must shed the accoutrements of military hierarchy just as we have renounced the yoke of monarchy. The answer to your inquiry resides in the boldness with which you rendered it. Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Knox, Mr. Randolph, if this nascent republic is to thrive beyond infancy, it will require more knowledge, more skill, and yes, Mr. Hamilton, more boldness than any one man may possess.
Hamilton: Sir, you attained your present station by unanimous vote.
Henry Knox: General … Mr. President, you are already proclaimed the father of our country.
Edmund Randolph: Speaking for myself, Mr. President, I am honored simply to be here present amidst such an assemblage of superior gentlemen.
Washington: Then I shall begin with you Mr. Randolph. You possess intimacy with the law under which we have chosen to be governed. You understand well both meaning and intent of our Constitution. I ask you, Mr. Randolph, will you serve as Attorney General of these United States?
Randolph: I will.
Washington: Mr. Knox, I know firsthand your bravery and leadership on the battlefield. I ask you, Mr. Knox, will you serve as Secretary of War of these United States?
Knox: I will.
Washington: Mr. Hamilton, we have experienced much together since you first became part of my military family as aide-de-camp. I have long admired your steadfastness to our cause. The ultimate success of this political experiment will require, among other things, a predictable source of income so that we are able to pay our debts, duly incurred, and establish creditability throughout the world. I ask you, Mr. Hamilton, will you serve as Treasury Secretary of these United States?
Hamilton: I will.
Washington: Mr. Jefferson, your love of country is no less than my own nor of any man who today bears the name Citizen. I ask you, Mr. Jefferson, will you serve as Secretary of State of these United States?
Jefferson: I will. But, Mr. President, may I presume to be as bold as Mr. Hamilton?
Washington: Of course.
Jefferson: Before I ascended the stairs to enter this chamber, I could not but notice in the grand foyer a pacing gentleman. His manner gave me pause to linger such that I might espy his identity. It was none other than the esteemed Mr. Adams. Mr. President, is there not a place at this table for such a patriot?
Washington: There is, Mr. Jefferson. Mr. Knox, would you please fetch Mr. Adams. He knows you are coming.
Washington: Welcome, Mr. Adams. Please have a seat.
John Adams: I must confess, Mr. President, I am bewildered by the make-up of this congregation. I am further perplexed by your behest that I remain alone until summoned.
Washington: I know full well that you are acquainted with all here present, Mr. Adams. What you are unaware of is that I have requested their active participation in the newly formed government. Sir, I present to you Mr. Randolph, Attorney General; Mr. Knox, Secretary of War; Mr. Hamilton, Treasury Secretary; and Mr. Jefferson, Secretary of State.
Adams: Gentlemen, congratulations, I suppose. Mr. President, have you called me to this place as a form of mockery? Have I offended you in some way? Pray, tell.
Washington: For you, Mr. Adams, I have delayed my final urgent request. I ask you, dear sir, will you serve as Vice President of these United States?
Adams: Ah, Jefferson, Secretary of State. Hamilton, Treasury Secretary. These are the heights to which a man of political ambition may aspire. However, my dear sir, you know from heated talk—nay, argument—at the convention that I hold the office of the Vice President the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.
Washington: I ask you, Mr. Adams, will you serve as Vice President of these United States?
Adams: I will.
Washington: Despite your reservations concerning this post, Mr. Adams, the day will come when you are called upon to render a momentous decision. Rest assured, that day will come.
[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]