So Rudy Giuliani, ex-NYC mayor and one of Donald Trump’s inner circle, likens Trump’s election in 2016 to that of Andrew Jackson in 1928 as a victory of the people over the establishment.
Well, not exactly.
Jackson, having been denied the presidency in 1824 despite his status as a national hero, won in 1828, thanks to support from people he called “natural men.” A natural man possessed nothing that would in any way distinguish him from other natural men — like education, for example.
Natural men predominated in the South and West. “Backwoodsmen” might be an appropriate synonym. Jackson led members of such folk in the War of 1812 and the ancillary Creek War. After killing lots of Indians, he killed lots of British in the Battle of New Orleans. All of that was useful for making America feel great again, inasmuch as the War of 1812 served notice to Great Britain that winning the Revolution had not been some sort of fluke. Jackson was a fighter, a warrior known to his men as Old Hickory because he was so tough.
Donald Trump had heel spurs and so was denied the opportunity to be heroic in combat.
But, on the plus side, he did acquire a great many friends in natural men.
As far as comparisons of Trump with Andrew Jackson go, let us hope that Giuliani, as resident authority, steers the orange-crested POTUS-elect away from any effort to emulate Old Hickory’s post-1828 doings.
Andrew Jackson invited his natural men to the inauguration in Washington, and they showed up in their buckskins, exposed flesh coated with bear grease to keep the skeeters off ’em. They stood on the White House furniture so as to gain a better perspective of the proceedings. Andy had a “yuge” cheese ball rolled in for their refreshment. It picked up chawed quids of tobacco, gobs of lint and a good bit of hair on the way, but natural men didn’t mind such as that. They pulled out their large knives and carved off chunks to cram into mouths frequently hidden by grease-laden whiskers.
And a good time was had by all — except the old poops in proper bib and tucker who viewed the whole thing as a crime against three of the five senses.
Andrew Jackson remembered for Indian removal
During the eight years of his presidency, Andrew Jackson did indeed accomplish many things. He and his congressional cronies launched a “removal” policy to send Indians from the east side of the Mississippi River to the western side, a place already labeled a desert. It was an act of attempted government genocide so unthinkable that some of Andy’s natural men opposed it. Davy Crockett was one of them. He’d served with Jackson during the Creek War and subsequently was elected to a term in Congress from Tennessee. Because he went against Old Hickory, the natural men back home made sure it was only a single term.
Among other things, President Jackson made war on the Bank of the United States and nearly wrecked the American economy. And because he knew more than the generals (despite having been one), he almost destroyed West Point, the foremost engineering school in the country at the time.
And so forth.
Andrew Jackson expanded presidential powers
Every once in a while, historians get a wild hair and vote on the top-10 presidents in American history. Andrew Jackson always makes the cut, and the reason given is that he greatly expanded the powers of his office.
The fact that King Andrew did it by ignoring his duties as enumerated by Article II of the U.S. Constitution seems not to matter, all of that having happened so long ago. After all, no president today would tell the chief justice of the Supreme Court to get stuffed, as Jackson did to John Marshall, thereby announcing that only the president had coercive power, and that if the president chose not to enforce a law, it wouldn’t be enforced.
And certainly not POTUS-elect Trump, right?
Indian removal replaced by Muslim removal? Waging war on the Federal Reserve? Mass demotions in the Pentagon?
To quote Sinclair Lewis, it can’t happen here.