In many of our history books today, Christopher Columbus did not discover America, instead he was a ruthless white European marauder who brutalized peaceful indigenous people and helped spread disease among their midst.
This type of historical revisionism was on full display this week when one of our greatest Presidents and military heroes, Andrew Jackson, was removed from the front of the $20 bill. Eventually, he will be featured on the back of the bill, while the image of Harriet Tubman, an African American slave who escaped and led hundreds of other slaves to freedom, will adorn the front.
These changes were among many announced by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to promote a more inclusive look to our currency. Along with Tubman being added to the $20 bill, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and opera singer Marian Anderson will be included on the back of the new $5 bill. Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, all acclaimed women’s rights activists, will be highlighted on the back of the new $10 bill.
It will take over ten years for all of these changes to be completely implemented. However, announcing the new designs was a major step forward for the Obama administration and the culmination of years of planning and public input.
Originally, the image of Alexander Hamilton on the face of the $10 was slated to be removed, however, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary was saved by the popularity of “Hamilton,” a hip-hop musical on Broadway.
Unfortunately, Jackson did not have any rap artists on his side, he just had a history of fighting and sacrificing for his country. While Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, he lost the battle of political correctness over two hundred years later.
Of course Tubman is a great American who deserves to be honored, but not at the expense of Andrew Jackson, one of the most consequential figures in the history of our country. According to columnist Pat Buchanan, changing the face of the $20 bill “is affirmative action that approaches the absurd. Whatever one’s admiration for Tubman and her cause, she is not the figure in history Jackson was.”
Sadly, in today’s America, Jackson is no longer viewed as a successful two-term President, but as a plantation slave owner who mistreated Native Americans.
Ironically, Jackson is considered the founder of the modern Democrat Party, which hosts fundraisers in his name. The party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner also honors former President Thomas Jefferson, another giant of American history. However, since Jefferson and Jackson were both slave owners, the party of racial pandering has been canceling these dinners all across the country. In this day and age of political correctness our American heroes are now being judged by their country’s moral values two hundred years later.
As military leader, Andrew Jackson successfully fought Indians in Alabama and Georgia and suppressed a British uprising in Florida, seizing the area for his country. In his greatest victory, the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, Jackson led a disorganized and motley army of misfits to a tremendous victory against the most celebrated fighting force in the world, the British Army. In the process, he not only rescued New Orleans from being captured and the Mississippi River from being closed, but he also saved our country from being split in two by the British.
As President, Jackson was a strong fiscal conservative who railed against the national bank and reckless debt. He was the last President to actually run a surplus and pay off the country’s national debt. Ever since that time, we have accumulated $19.3 trillion in debt with no end in sight. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a President once again who believed in paying our country’s bills?
Andrew Jackson also opposed term limits and the power of a financial elite who worked against the interests of average Americans.
He was the original outsider who defeated a political system controlled by power brokers intent on expanding their own influence at the expense of the American people.
In 2016, angry citizens tired of being abused and mistreated are looking for a leader like Andrew Jackson once again. It is quite ironic that he is being demoted from our currency at the exact time he should be promoted as the model for the next President of the United States.
Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected]