The Jefferson Election

In a video link posted by P.G., the author asserted that, basically, Jefferson as V.P. just counted up the Electoral College votes for himself and decided he would be POTUS, not Burr. They claim this as precedent for Pence to do the same for The Donald.

The history reads somewhat differently…

The rules were different then. Each party put up 2 candidates for POTUS. Most votes got POTUS, runner up got V.P. Sometimes they were different parties, sometimes the same. Jefferson and Burr had a tie vote in the Electoral college. They were both from the same party. After a LOT of deadlocked votes in Congress (30+), the Delaware delegation (one vote) abstained. This let Jefferson win.

This came about AFTER a ‘deal’ was struck between the Federalists and Jefferson that Jefferson would not toss them out of nice positions in Government nor try to dump the U.S. Central Bank and government borrowing. (Had he only known… /sarc;)

So looks like “not a precedent” at all.

Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and the Election of 1800
For seven days, as the two presidential candidates maneuvered and schemed, the fate of the young republic hung in the ballots

Yet there are curious parallels. The Federalists wanted a strong central government authority with weak and subservient States. Jefferson wanted strong States and a very limited Federal government.

Adams, in fact, hoped to avoid war, but found himself riding a whirlwind. The most extreme Federalists, known as Ultras, capitalized on the passions unleashed in this crisis and scored great victories in the off-year elections of 1798, taking charge of both the party and Congress. They created a provisional army and pressured Adams into putting Hamilton in charge. They passed heavy taxes to pay for the army and, with Federalist sympathizers in the press braying that “traitors must be silent,” enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts, which provided jail terms and exorbitant fines for anyone who uttered or published “any false, scandalous, and malicious” statement against the United States government or its officials. While Federalists defended the Sedition Act as a necessity in the midst of a grave national crisis, Jefferson and his followers saw it as a means of silencing Republicans—and a violation of the Bill of Rights. The Sedition Act, Jefferson contended, proved there was no step, “however atrocious,” the Ultras would not take.

All along, Jefferson had felt that Federalist extremists might overreach. By early 1799, Adams himself had arrived at the same conclusion. He, too, came to suspect that Hamilton and the Ultras wanted to precipitate a crisis with France. Their motivation perhaps had been to get Adams to secure an alliance with Great Britain and accept the Ultras’ program in Congress. But avowing that there “is no more prospect of seeing a French Army here, than there is in Heaven,” Adams refused to go along with the scheme and sent peace envoys to Paris. (Indeed, a treaty would be signed at the end of September 1800.)

Gee… raise taxes, have Federal Debt, want overseas adventures, silence the opposition… Sounds rather familiar. The most extreme “Ultras” take power in the off year election…

Unlike today, each party nominated two candidates for the presidency.

Federalist congressmen had caucused that spring and, without indicating a preference, designated Adams and South Carolina’s Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the party’s choices.
In addition to Jefferson, Republicans chose Aaron Burr as their candidate, but designated Jefferson as the party’s first choice.

Then politicians began playing with the local “rules” to assure their side would win:

But for all its differences, much about the campaign of 1800 was recognizably modern. Politicians carefully weighed which procedures were most likely to advance their party’s interests. Virginia, for instance, had permitted electors to be elected from districts in three previous presidential contests, but after Federalists carried 8 of 19 congressional districts in the elections of 1798, Republicans, who controlled the state assembly, switched to the winner-take-all format, virtually guaranteeing they would get every one of Virginia’s 21 electoral votes in 1800. The ploy was perfectly legal, and Federalists in Massachusetts, fearing an upsurge in Republican strength, scuttled district elections—which the state had used previously—to select electors by the legislature, which they controlled.

Vitriol was strong in the press and no lie was too extreme if it hurt the opposition.

Though the contest was played out largely in the print media, the unsparing personal attacks on the character and temperament of the nominees resembled the studied incivility to which today’s candidates are accustomed on television. Adams was portrayed as a monarchist who had turned his back on republicanism; he was called senile, a poor judge of character, vain, jealous and driven by an “ungovernable temper.” Pinckney was labeled a mediocrity, a man of “limited talents” who was “illy suited to the exalted station” of the presidency. Jefferson was accused of cowardice. Not only, said his critics, had he lived in luxury at Monticello while others sacrificed during the War of Independence, but he had fled like a jack rabbit when British soldiers raided Charlottesville in 1781. And he had failed egregiously as Virginia’s governor, demonstrating that his “nerves are too weak to bear anxiety and difficulties.” Federalists further insisted Jefferson had been transformed into a dangerous radical during his residence in France and was a “howling atheist.” For his part, Burr was depicted as without principles, a man who would do anything to get his hands on power.

Then the election ran on for an unbelievable length.

Also like today, the election of 1800 seemed to last forever. “Electioneering is already begun,” the first lady, Abigail Adams, noted 13 months before the Electoral College was to meet. What made it such a protracted affair was that state legislatures were elected throughout the year; as these assemblies more often than not chose presidential electors, the state contests to determine them became part of the national campaign. In 1800 the greatest surprise among these contests occurred in New York, a large, crucial state that had given all 12 of its electoral votes to Adams in 1796, allowing him to eke out a three-vote victory over Jefferson.

And the vote ended up being tossed to Congress to decide:

The various presidential electors met in their respective state capitals to vote on December 3. By law, their ballots were not to be opened and counted until February 11, but the outcome could hardly be kept secret for ten weeks. Sure enough, just nine days after the vote, Washington, D.C.’s National Intelligencer newspaper broke the news that neither Adams nor Pinckney had received a single South Carolina vote and, in the voting at large, Jefferson and Burr had each received 73 electoral votes. Adams had gotten 65, Pinckney 64. The House of Representatives would have to make the final decision between the two Republicans.

There was even the risk that if things could not be resolved, the Spendy Central Authoritarians would end up in control of things:

Though Jefferson and Burr had tied in the Electoral College, public opinion appeared to side with Jefferson. Not only had he been the choice of his party’s nominating caucus, but he had served longer at the national level than Burr, and in a more exalted capacity. But if neither man was selected by noon on March 4, when Adams’ term ended, the country would be without a chief executive until the newly elected Congress convened in December, nine months later. In the interim, the current, Federalist-dominated Congress would be in control.

Golly that sure has a lot of similarities to the pickle we are experiencing today.

Burr’s was not the only intrigue. Given the high stakes, every conceivable pressure was applied to change votes. Those in the deadlocked delegations were courted daily, but no one was lobbied more aggressively than James Bayard, Delaware’s lone congressman, who held in his hands the sole determination of how his state would vote.

They were more evenly divided in Delaware…

When the roll call was complete, Jefferson had carried eight states, Burr six, and two deadlocked states had cast uncommitted ballots; Jefferson still needed one more vote for a majority. A second vote was held, with a similar tally, then a third. When at 3 a.m. the exhausted congressmen finally called it a day, 19 roll calls had been taken, all with the same inconclusive result.

By Saturday evening, three days later, the House had cast 33 ballots. The deadlock seemed unbreakable.

And you thought our Congress was a cat fight…

A shaken President Adams was certain the two sides had come to the “precipice” of disaster and that “a civil war was expected.” There was talk that Virginia would secede if Jefferson were not elected. Some Republicans declared they would convene another constitutional convention to restructure the federal government so that it reflected the “democratical spirit of America.” It was rumored that a mob had stormed the arsenal in Philadelphia and was preparing to march on Washington to drive the defeated Federalists from power. Jefferson said he could not restrain those of his supporters who threatened “a dissolution” of the Union. He told Adams that many Republicans were prepared to use force to prevent the Federalists’ “legislative usurpation” of the executive branch.

Gee… kinda like a whole lot of people interested in a “2 State Solution” and / or a march on D.C.

In all likelihood, it was these threats that ultimately broke the deadlock. The shift occurred sometime after Saturday’s final ballot; it was Delaware’s Bayard who blinked. That night, he sought out a Republican close to Jefferson, almost certainly John Nicholas, a member of Virginia’s House delegation. Were Delaware to abstain, Bayard pointed out, only 15 states would ballot. With eight states already in his column, Jefferson would have a majority and the elusive victory at last. But in return, Bayard asked, would Jefferson accept the terms that the Federalists had earlier proffered? Nicholas responded, according to Bayard’s later recollections, that these conditions were “very reasonable” and that he could vouch for Jefferson’s acceptance.

So we’ve had contested elections and back room dealing from the start.

The following day, February 17, the House gathered at noon to cast its 36th, and, as it turned out, final, vote. Bayard was true to his word: Delaware abstained, ending seven days of contention and the long electoral battle.
Had Jefferson in fact cut a deal to secure the presidency? Ever afterward, he insisted that such allegations were “absolutely false.” The historical evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Not only did many political insiders assert that Jefferson had indeed agreed to a bargain, but Bayard, in a letter dated February 17, the very day of the climactic House vote—as well as five years later, while testifying under oath in a libel suit—insisted that Jefferson had most certainly agreed to accept the Federalists’ terms.
Even Jefferson’s actions as president lend credence to the allegations. Despite having fought against the Hamiltonian economic system for nearly a decade, he acquiesced to it once in office, leaving the Bank of the United States in place and tolerating continued borrowing by the federal government. Nor did he remove most Federalist officeholders.

The mystery is not why Jefferson would deny making such an accord, but why he changed his mind after vowing never to bend. He must have concluded that he had no choice if he wished to become president by peaceful means.

What happens in the Back Room, stays in the Back Room. It would seem…

In the days that followed the House battle, Jefferson wrote letters to several surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence to explain what he believed his election had meant. It guaranteed the triumph of the American Revolution, he said, ensuring the realization of the new “chapter in the history of man” that had been promised by Thomas Paine in 1776. In the years that followed, his thoughts often returned to the election’s significance. In 1819, at age 76, he would characterize it as the “revolution of 1800,” and he rejoiced to a friend in Virginia, Spencer Roane, that it had been effected peacefully “by the rational and peaceful instruments of reform, the suffrage of the people.”

So now it’s 200 years later. I wonder if it is time for the “Revolution of 2020”? ANOTHER to be: effected peacefully “by the rational and peaceful instruments of reform, the suffrage of the people.” By counting the actual votes cast, not the fraudulent ones.

The fraud in this election is rampant, blatant, and so huge any statistic you turn over shouts it at you. 170,000 more votes counted than voters counted in one State. 200,000 votes with 99.5% for Biden in one lump in another? You get more than that 1/2% for Trump just by error… Whole swathes of “common names” who suddenly didn’t vote in large numbers, replaced by folks with them as the ONLY instance of that surname. No brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, children, parents… Certainly just generated from a name list, not actual residents. Then the software in the machines, illegally changed just before the election, then changed again, also illegally, in a cover-up just after the election. Ballots run through the different software has the Diddle Ware voting Biden, the hand count for Trump then matching the Cover Up Software.

So my question is just this:

Will Congress act and use the “peaceful instruments of reform”? Or will we have “Diplomacy by other means”? I guess we’ll find out what they give us on January 6. But I find it curiously comforting that the nation has been through all this before and came out OK. Nothing happening now is unprecedented. (Except maybe the manner and scale of the vote stealing…)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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29 Responses to The Jefferson Election

  1. billinoz says:

    Thank E M for an interesting USA political history lesson. I already knew quite a bit but this Jefferson election shambles was completely new to me. The other big instance of weird USA presidential election was the election of Abraham Lincoln. He wound up becoming president with only 38% of the popular vote which I suggest was guaranteed to alienate folks who voted against him. And there was a Civil War afterwards.

    Surely the American people can reform the USA constitution to avoid these sort of stuff ups ?

  2. p.g.sharrow says:

    @billinoz; It was even more interesting then that as to the cause of the start of the American Civil War. Called the “War of Aggression” in the South because the Federal Government carried out acts of war against the Southern States by blockading their sea ports to drive Foreign Ships out of them and make American seaborne trade travel in American ships. This made Southern states colonies of the New England shippers and traders. Fort Sumter was preventing ships from docking and was causing starvation in the area. One must remember that in the 1860s most transport was by ship. This is Law is still a problem for Alaska and Hawaii in their trade with the mainland…pg

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    Every Feature of the American form of Government was to protect the Minority from the excesses of the will of the Majority. America is a Constitutionally limited Republic. Not a Democracy. Every time that fact is ignored problems develop. We are a federation of semi-autonomous States. The Federal government was created by the states, The states are not subdivisions created from the American government.
    One of the chores that the Trump movement must accomplish is to end the drive toward the concept of the Imperial City of Washington,DC

  4. V.P. Elect Smith says:


    Civil War, or
    War Between The States, or
    War of Northern Aggression?

    Each brings an aspect of the conflict to the front. It was NOT Lincoln being elected that lead to the war. It was a long simmering conflict of North vs South on many fronts. Largely that the North wanted to control manufacturing and force the South to buy from them, not from Europe. (See P.G.’s point about ports, shipping, blockades).

    Only well into the war did Lincoln make the emancipation proclamation. Note, too, that slavery existed in the North. Rhode Island had a long hand in it. Slavery was a background to the war until after it was well engaged.

    At the start, it was the War of Northern Aggression. In the middle, the War Between The States. Only later did it become a “Civil War” (as there was nothing civil about it…)

    As to “reform” of the Constitution:

    That would not have stopped the blockades, the Jone’s Act on shipping, the North wanting to make a Satrap of the South.

    That would not have stopped the cheating and stealing of this election (it already violated the Constitution and Law…).

    Jefferson was elected in keeping with the Constitution and via legal process. Nothing need to change there. It was peaceful, if long and slow. It was not a “shambles”.

    The Electoral College system with House & Senate fall backs is an elegant system with many benefits. Not the least of which is that in any catastrophic failure, the system assures a POTUS is seated. It doesn’t matter if that failure is a battle between States, an election that doesn’t work right, or a natural disaster preventing vote counting and communications. It is robust to such failures.

    With a “National Popular Election” there is no recourse to voter and election fraud. No “checks and balances” on fraud such as we saw this round (though yet TBD if the checks and balances fix it or not…). There is no check on the “madness of crowds” and the dictatorship of the 51%. Then, no matter what, even if Yellowstone erupts and 3/4 of the nation is buried in ash and immobile, you STILL must ‘count every vote’? While the present system would just have Congress say “Vote broken, we pick a POTUS” and the nation moves on.

    In short, there is nothing to fix. What we have works to prevent “fixed” elections and assures a POTUS “come what may”.

  5. V.P. Elect Smith says:

    Part of what I found interesting in the story of the Jefferson Election was how, even from the start, the Federalists were pushing for a single strong Central Authority while the Jeffersonians were pushing for States Rights and a free Republic.

    This conflict will always remain as there are folks who lust after Central Authority (see the long history of Kings, Queens, Emperors, Kaisers, Tsars, etc. etc.) and on the other pole the “Tyranny of the masses” in direct democracy. (Or just the E.U. vs Britain vs Scotland today)

    Trying to hold the middle ground of a Constitutional Republic against those two forces is a perpetual tug-of-war.

    In the 1800 election, Constitutional Republic won, and we held that way until about the 1920s. Then the Federal Government began to grow under the Progressives into a massive Central Authority. Now the Hamiltonians have finally won the day and we have a Strong Big Central Authority Government, which is now roundly ignoring the Constitution and the will of the people. Then, the major problem with a Strong Central Authority, is that it inevitably dissolves into Tyranny (kings, queens, emperors, etc. etc. or even just Premier or imperial President…).

    Trump is trying to return us to a limited Constitutional Republic, and the Hamiltonians are fighting him at every turn, as they want their power and perks and money. All while the Progressives / Socialists / Communists (whatever they hide under these days) just want to capture the Central Authority and use it to end the Republic. To advance the One World Socialist State.

    Central Authority is always attractive to both the Masses in a Direct Democracy and to the Dictator Wanna-be. Keeping both sides from enacting one kind of Tyranny or the other is a perpetual battle. One we are on the verge of losing at the moment.

  6. YMMV says:

    Excellent abstract. “Democracy is like a tram ride: when you reach your stop, you get off” (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 1996). I get the pull from both sides. The “democracy” side wants popular votes, which is not the same thing as democracy). The Elites want the power and glory, all of it. And they cannot stand to see a Despicable in power. And the power is there for the taking. Easy picking?

    The thing I don’t get is what forces keep a limited Constitutional Republic going. It is only meta-stable; any big enough force from either direction and it falls over. And either way it falls, that new state is stable. There will be no restoration to any desirable state. So what keeps it standing? Honest men and general morality? If that’s it, we are in trouble.

    The advantage of having a formal system like the constitution is that it is not easily corrupted, as having a human king would be. The disadvantage is that is is not as flexible and adaptable, so it cannot handle new threats as well as a human. And humans are good at finding new attacks.

    No, I am not suggesting A.I.

  7. cdquarles says:

    The design was a representative republic with power devolved, dispersed and subject to various checks. It was for a moral and religious (Christian primarily but Christianity as an offshoot of Judaism lets Judaism play. It is not meant for any kind of religion like Islam or for any kind of tyranny; whether centralized or mob rule) people.

    There is flexibility built in, called amendments. There are three processes for amendments, two directed at Congress and one not, at least initially.

    Nevertheless, power flows from the people. No consent, no government. You can, to an extent, compel ‘consent’, but there is a limit; which is why all human governments fail. Human nature is fallen. Our system, as does a true free market, works with that nature in mind. The problem is, as I see it, over 100 and bordering on 200 years of corrupting it.

  8. The True Nolan says:

    Thanks, E.M., nice historical recap!

    I just wanted to throw out a recommendation for a book:

    It is one of the best books I have read about the first couple decades of the the US. It concentrates mostly on the Jefferson-Adams conflict but gives a lot of back story as well. It has a huge collection of primary source quotes and references.

  9. M Simon says:

    Current Progress:

    Anyone notice how Georgia’s Governpr and Lt. Gov caved to Trump a few weeks ago?

    And now China’s Mitch has done the same. Mitch was all cranky about Trump’s requests. 230, election reform, Big stimulus. And now he is full on backing it. Introduced the bill himself.

    Nobody caves to a lame duck President. The obvious conclusion ==> he is not a lame duck.

    Trump knows something so powerful everyone who hears it thinks it will overthrow the corruption. I can’t wait to hear it myself. A bunch of Reps are in on the secret. A couple of Senators. What amazes me is how tone deaf all the rest are. In politics it is good to know which way the wind is blowing., Evidently most of DC has no clue.

  10. M Simon says:

    The True Nolan,

    Could you give the name? The image doesn’t show up for me.

  11. M Simon says:

    cdquarles ,

    My position is simpler and subject to control. When too many abused children run things, things go very bad. Stalin was an abused child. That German as well. Child abuse drives out natural human morality. If we looked more closely I think we would find that our prison system is full of abused children. And given the limits of our system in terms of control, let abused children take the drugs they need for pain relief. It reduces the hostility.

  12. M Simon says:


    What keeps it going? Natural human morality. Child abuse subverts natural human morality.

  13. David A says:

    YMMV says “So what keeps it standing? Honest men and general morality? If that’s it, we are in trouble.”

    That is what George Washington asserted. I happen to agree, yet that is, in my view, all that keeps ANY social system operational.

    Corruption, dishonesty, theft, institutional theft, lazyness, avarice, greed, and all manner of immoral behaviours, individual and in group form, are certain to increase misery and popular revolt.

    All men want power. Power over their own lives, careers, marriage choice, property, etc… Evil, envious men want power OVER others.

    The US was to successful in prosperity and individual freedoms to give in to the power lust of global statists. Yet over time our institutions became, inch by inch, ever more corrupt. Then President Trump came, and instituted common sense economic reforms that worked, and began to battle the swamp, the corruption.

    While successes against the swamp were many, the swamp was exposed to be far bigger and more systemic then realized. And this forced exposure, while depressing to see, is necessary for its eventual defeat.

  14. M Simon says:

    David A says:
    31 December 2020 at 1:19 pm

    People with PTSD crave power like you can’t believe. Giving up that excessive desire for power and control is essential for healing. It is also exceedingly difficult.

    The brain screams: “If you give up control something bad could happen. “

  15. The True Nolan says:

    @M Simon: “Could you give the name?”
    Oops! My mistake. It is “American Aurora: A Democratic-Republican Returns” by Richard Rosenfeld. Most professors and authors these days seem to believe that ALL the Founding Fathers were monsters — but I think Rosenfeld does a pretty good job of being objective on the good and the bad of the subject. All in all, I would trade most of our current batch of “leaders” for one Jefferson, Franklin, or Washington.

    “When too many abused children run things, things go very bad.”
    Even when they don’t run things but are just average citizens, the results are ugly. And just because the abuse is not the obvious beating with a stick “because you must have done something” it is still damaging. The celebration of single-motherhood which has been so avidly pressed on our country for the last 30 years has shown us what happens in cultures when most children have no father around. To be very blunt and politically incorrect, women who voluntarily choose to have children without a stable family structure are guilty of child abuse.

  16. M Simon says:

    PTSD runs in families. Trump’s brother died of alcoholism. Addiction is a symptom of PTSD.

    Trump’s ability to stay away from drugs is a likely indication he did not get enough trauma to activate it. The endorphins produced by sex may be a substitute.

  17. M Simon says:

    The True Nolan,

    Yes. Single motherhood is a self inflicted wound. It got popular with the Drug War incarcerating so many men. BTW the women’s response to the lack of men is entirely natural. Women go wild. Just to get a man. If you want a sexually moral society, you want slight;y more men than women. Nature likes 51/49 F/M at birth.

    Putting so many Black men in prison has ruined the Black family.

  18. philjourdan says:

    The percentage for Lincoln in 1860 is not far from the percentages for Wilson in 1912 (41.8%) or Clinton in 1992 (43%). That is what happens when the vote is split among 3 or more candidates. Indeed, the ruling party in Parliamentarian governments usually aspire to those percentages, yet they win large majority when they get 38% of the vote.

    I knew most of the Jefferson story (being a native of the Old Dominion). But it was good to read it again and get some of the “thoughts” (I only knew the dry story) of the particulars.

    @M. Simon – as far as being a lame duck or not, that is not a given that he is not. What is a given is that the republican party is now his party, And any republican who wants a place in it has to kiss his ring.

  19. YMMV says:

    @David A, “All men want power. Power over their own lives, careers, marriage choice, property, etc… Evil, envious men want power OVER others.”

    Well put.

  20. President Elect H.R. says:

    I’m staying in Perry, Georgia. I was hoping to get a reading on the Georgia, but the delay on the road put us here too late to go around and ask the Georgia people for their thoughts. I’ve heard they are mad and won’t vote at all, but there has been a lot of pressure on Georgians to vote for their rat-bastard GOP Senators so Schumer doesn’t get control of the Senate. I won’t be finding out, though.

    The two campgrounds we stay at on our trips to and from Florida are pretty much full up! We normally ask for our favorite site (easy hookup and close to dog walks), but this year we were lucky to even get a site at both places.

    As near as I can determine, a large number of people in the lockdown States that own travel trailers or motor homes left NY, PA, and MI and came South for long-term stays in less restrictive States.

    At our gas stops in Georgia, masks were a mixed bag. a lot of people weren’t wearing mask. People are tired of them. Only the people successfully frightened by the YSM seem to be wearing masks. Everyone else is soooo over it.

    Oh, I’ve also encountered a couple of people with masks and I asked them if they were uncomfortable with me not wearing one. I have one wadded up in my pocket I can put on if they are. But so far they all had no problem with me being maskless. I sked, and they said, nah,,, it’s OK. Oh, and we interacted at a normal 4-feet +/- distance, which is pretty usual for Americans. None of that 6-feet or more crap.

    It seems every business has put up plexiglass for their cashiers. I actually think it’s a great idea and they should have done it 20 years ago. They stand there all day and no doubt, some of the of the customers will be sick and let rip a sneeze. It’s a good idea for reducing sick time during cold and flu season.

    Time to tear down and get back on the road. I hope E.M. can report in today.

    Here’s hoping everyone’s 2021 is better than 2020.

  21. President Elect H.R. says:

    Oops … I was hoping to get a reading on the Georgia Run-off election. Left that out.

  22. David A says:

    M. Simon says, “People with PTSD crave power like you can’t believe. Giving up that excessive desire for power and control is essential for healing. It is also exceedingly difficult.

    The brain screams: “If you give up control something bad could happen.”

    Thank you. That is illuminating to myself in dealing with a certain family member. If you have more information on this, it is appreciated.

  23. David A says:

    M.Simon, in particular this, ” crave power like you can’t believe. Giving up that excessive desire for power and control is essential for healing.”
    makes sense.

  24. President Elect H.R. says:

    Still too dark to decamp. Sorry about placing my trip comments on the wrong thread. I thought I was on W.O.O.D.

    Re abused children. The need to control is familiar to me, but I never considered the source. My mother-in-law was abused mentally and physically, as well as my wife and her two siblings. They have that need. It doesn’t work with me 😁 and it doesn’t work on our son. I taught him to be his own person and it seems to have taken. Drives my wife nuts at times because he does what wants or needs to do and not what she wants him to do. 😁 The cycle is broken there.

    I wanted to add something that is probably universal in abused people. My wife and M-I-L can never be wrong. It was several years ago, but I figured out that they could never be wrong because if you were wrong, it was bad, and that made you a bad person.

    Well, other than a people who know they are bad people and it doesn’t bother them a bit, most people are good people and think of themselves, rightfully, as good people. But the PTSDs were beaten down, physically, verbally, or both for being wrong or making a mistake. So they can never be wrong because then they would be a bad person… and they are not.

    People do bad things, wrong things, and make mistakes. Mentally healthy people just say, “Well I sure screwed that up.” Then they try to fix it or just learn their lesson and decide not to do… whatever it was… again.

    Being wrong or making a mistake doesn’t make you a bad person. What you did may be wrong and maybe was a bad thing, but a wrong act stands on it’s own and you fix it, with apologies and/or restitution as needed.

    The Mrs. and M-I-L have few long-term friends, because eventually, almost all of their friends did something thoughtless and maybe outright ‘not nice’. So those people are labeled ‘bad’ and the friendship and associations are dropped.

    I don’t know if my personal observations generalize, but I’ve noted that in the wife’s family.

  25. philjourdan says:

    @President Elect H.R. – re” Plexiglas. I agree it is a good health measure. It sucks as a good business practice. Yes, life is full of risks. But retailers are in the business of making folks welcome and to enjoy the experience. Plexiglas destroys that. Just as masks hide emotions.

    Put them up to make you feel good. But I will avoid them as ,much as possible.

  26. M Simon says:

    David A says:
    1 January 2021 at 10:31 am

    My e-mail can be found at the top of Send me e-mails til I respond. I’ll do what I can to help.

    Every case is different. The only advantage I have is that I more or less cleaned up my own act. I’m familiar with the dodges. I have on occasion assisted others.

    IMO – PTSD is at the root of a very large number of social problems yet we pay it hardly any attention.

    “The Fourth Way” by P.D. Ouspensky is a very good manual on what to do to reform yourself. The more esoteric stuff (Hydrogens etc.) can be skipped over. Because the false personality is controlling it needs lots of rules because it does not respond normally. The stuff on rules is very important. The book is a free pdf. Look around.

    BTW they had no clue about PTSD when the book was written.

    A general rule that helps a lot. – Stop Being Angry. Anger leads to the Dark Side.

  27. M Simon says:

    “People of the Lie” is a good look at the problem from an awake psychotherapist. One very common aspect of people with PTSD is that they lie. One of Ouspensky’s rules for healing is that you must not tell lies. And lying to yourself is the hardest to stop. So the first step is to learn to watch.

    Another common thing when helping is that you get good results with a new technique for three days and then defenses develop. So you always have to be inventing new methods until they start coming out of it and can help. It is very tiring and can go on for a lifetime with little results. And for three days you get to think “finally they understand” – actually they don’t. You have to be able to take a lot of “beatings” to help.

  28. M Simon says:

    President Elect H.R. says:
    1 January 2021 at 11:11 am

    Surrender is most essential and hardest to teach/learn. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO IGNORE INJUSTICE ? !!!!!!

    “The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.” , comes to mind. Those movies were incredible when it comes to human insight.

  29. The True Nolan says:

    @M Simon: ““The Fourth Way” by P.D. Ouspensky is a very good manual”.

    Great book, but as you say, much of it is a bit, uh, “esoteric” for most people. One of my favorite ideas from it: “The psychology of ordinary man could even be called the study of lying, because man lies more than anything else; and as a matter of fact, he cannot speak the truth.”

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