Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Here's hoping the Democrats pass on this suggestion

Mike Lyon calls Andrew Jackson the "patriarch of our party," and says we need another Old Hickory in the White House.

Well, Jackson is dead, and--alas for Trent Lott--so is Strom Thurmond. But even Thurmond's racism couldn't compare with Jackson's. He not only worked tirelessly to remove Native Americans from their land and was the architect of what eventually became the Trail of Tears--he also sold slaves.

6 Comments:

Lyon's statement is based on Schlesinger Jr.'s hagiographic portrait of Jackson as one who led the expansion of the franchise to low income white men, especially in the West and South. As in AMS, Jr.'s other work, it lionizes the New Deal as incorporating change into a middle class reform agenda, and ignores Jackson's genocidal Imperialist expansion, his slave-trading,etc., as relics of an unfortunate past. Victims will be added to FDR's big happy family in paternalistic dribbles. It is a myth of American Civil Religion, especially as it works down to a popular level, as exhibited here.

This has been a powerful trend in U S historiography for many decades, which serves to stall, sidetrack, or defuse pressure for reform. Schlesinger, Jr. was notorious as a polemicist for Anti-Communist Liberals of the Forties, doing his part for McCarthyism while washing his hands and moaning about the threat to our freedoms from the left. I despise him.

JohnieB

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:16 AM  

Jackson violated the law, in fact, in removing the Cherokee from their land -- Worchester V Georgia -- and should have been impeached for it. Some hero.

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