Columnist Arthur Chu had a primal scream of an article published in this past week’s Daily Beast titled “The Mass Murderer On Your $20”. In it, the leftist writer decries having the double sawbuck tainted with the image of a man whom the author views as a psychotic “mass murderer” of the American Indians, an “anti-intellectual” demagogue, & a bully whose “presidency demonstrate(d) the ugliness of an American populace that wanted to be led” by him.
But you know what? If the Reagan people want to put Ronald Reagan on the $20 bill and boot Andrew Jackson off, I’m all for it.
The problem with Chu’s article is that there’s no context to it. He’s quick to highlight the ugly, indisputable facts that tarnish – if not damn – Jackson’s tenure as our nation’s seventh president but he fails to comprehend why many historians place the man among the “greats” of American history (which is material for another blog in & of itself).
Nor does Chu want to confront the fact that today’s Democrat Party owes its existence to Jackson (he was a co-founder) & that the ugliness Chu thinks Jackson alone personified was actually an ugliness shared by many within the party itself.
He was a “man of the people,” in that his election marked the beginning of content-free, vicious mass-media-driven personality politics. Although operatives of both sides slung copious quantities of mud, Jackson’s opponent John Quincy Adams was personally one of the most educated, idealistic, decent people to serve as president, and was thus easily taken down by Jackson as being a limp-wristed, out-of-touch elitist you wouldn’t want to have a beer with.
This set the tone for attacks to be used against educated, idealistic, decent people for the entire future history of American politics. Neither sushi nor lattes were commonly consumed in America in 1828, but one gets the feeling if they had been they would have figured prominently in Jackson’s campaign.
As more & more young leftists like Chu discover the truth about the Democrat Party’s sordid past, they’ll either dismiss it, denounce it, or ignore it. But if they want to expunge one of their party’s founding father’s from his place on the $20 bill and replace Jackson with Reagan, who am I to disagree? So I now ask the RMG community: should Jackson’s image be dropped from the $20 bill? If so, which past American president should have his image replace that of Jackson’s?