The following quote is from President John Adams penned in early 1801 as he returned to Massachusetts from the inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C.
He had just participated in the first orderly transfer of power in a democracy in the civilized western world. His successor, Thomas Jefferson, was a political rival; however, their differences in political beliefs did not prevent the two great leaders from becoming the best of friends exchanging many letters and even dying on the same day in 1826, July 4th.
Painting by Gilbert Stuart
"We are a government of laws and not of men. We will betray this principle if we trade a government of laws for a government of men or, even worse, a single man or an impressionable and dangerous mob intent on violent sedition and insurrection against our beloved democratic republic."
Quoted by Rep. Jamie Raskin during a speech delivered on the House floor on Wednesday January 6th: a day of violence, shame and infamy in the capitol building: