[Originally published May 6, 2016 in Atlanta Times News]
When this Carolina Gamecock lawyer of twenty years launched a second career with an Atlanta Metro newspaper two weeks after 9/11/2001, we first used a famous quote from our fellow Palmetto State native, Andrew Jackson: “One man with courage makes a majority.” Little did I know then how relevant to the history of the first two decades of the 21st Century, would my signature line for thousands of op-ed columns become.
This past week the Obama Administration, in its latest exercise of executive overreach, announced that the hero of the Battle of New Orleans will be replaced on the front of the $20 bill by Harriett Tubman, leader of the slave-liberating “Underground Railroad.”
There have been many great and courageous men and women, famous and anonymous, who have played parts in the exceptional saga of the United States of America. Whispers from the ministry of the er ah office of the Lord er ah, Secretary of the Treasury, are that Jackson may appear on the back of the Twenty among a panoply of civil rights leaders. Of course, we can turn all of the currency into the affirmative action equivalents of tee-ball team portraits in which everyone gets a trophy for showing up. This appears to be the intent of those now in power who emphasize more their grievances against the United States than its greatness.
But if America has been the most exceptional nation in the history of the world, and it has; then shouldn’t prominent displays on the currency, and in national monuments and holidays, be preserved for the figures pivotal to achieving that exceptionalism? I think so.
Harriett Tubman was a heroic figure who helped free hundreds of slaves. The actions of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant freed all the slaves, while the latter, as president, attempted a Southern Reconstruction to confer equal rights; hence, the $5 Lincoln, $50 Grant and national holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose courage produced a Civil Rights Act that enforced the equality guaranteed by the post-Civil War amendments the former figures fought for.
There would have been no exceptional American union for Tubman, Lincoln, Grant and King to preserve and sanctify but for the military and political courage of South Carolina-born Old Hickory, which nickname was conferred by soldiers red, yellow, black and white who served under him when he led them home safely for hundreds of miles after being betrayed by federal government. Yes, Jackson was born into a slave-owning culture similar to millions before him around the world and he denounced a Supreme Court which attempted to deny him the executive authority to relocate defeated enemies exercised by previous presidents.
But if we are going to trash all former slave owners and warriors, then shouldn’t we first tear down the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial? Re-name the District of Columbia, Obamaton and New Orleans, New London? And shouldn’t all those presidents who presided over removals of defeated Indian tribes before Jackson and Martin Van Buren, who afterward, actually presided over the Trail of Tears, also be trashed?
Yes, a Treaty of Ghent had been signed before General Jackson and an amateur army of free blacks, Creek Indians who sided with America against Creek domination of Georgia and Alabama, Tennesseans and Cajuns defeated the greatest military power on earth at New Orleans, even as Washington, D.C. still smoldered from its sacking by the British. But Britain still held Canada and would certainly have kept New Orleans and the Mississippi Rivier, upon which the treaty was silent. Most probably had they held Nawlins and Washington at the time the treaty was delivered, British admirals would have burnt it to light cigars. Andy Jackson spoiled that chance for British High Tea.
But for Jackson, there would have been no heroic Lincoln, Grant or Tubman.
The three popular and electoral (one stolen) election victories by Jackson broke the elitist stranglehold on the presidency. He paid off the national debt and destroyed the corrupt equivalent of The Fed in his day. More importantly, when his vice president in his first term led the nullification/secession movement during his second, President Jackson threatened to make himself general again to lead the union army against he his native state and John C. Calhoun’s nullifiers.
Jackson deemed the U.S. Constitution as having been ratified by “We the People”, not mere states, to form a more perfect “Union” and thus impossible to co-exist with any imagined right of states to secede. Only We the People could do that. He also shared Jefferson and Lincoln’s disdain for an imperial third branch of government as Oligarchs on a Supreme Court meant to interpret, not amend that Constitution.
All have sinned, and one day I pray that those who shout “pro-choice” will be publicly vilified for the millions of innocent babies killed at their behest. We overcame slavery and oppression. Hopefully one day, after bathroom Common Sense is restored, and hopefully without the necessity of a second civil war, we can ensure the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for babies in the womb.
In the meantime, could we please not re-write a false history of those without whom our historic prosperity would have been impossible?
Yes, mass movements and forces greatly influence history, but still…one man or woman with courage can make a majority and an exceptional nation.
Before Andrew Jackson won the presidency in 1828, a “King Caucus” of congressional leaders on Capitol Hill chose party nominees in a tidy, insular way as a tidy, insular National Bank directed national economic affairs for the benefit of wealthy cronies. Having won the popular vote in 1824 only to lose in the Electoral College thanks to the political maneuverings of his King Caucus member opponent Henry Clay, Jackson campaigned relentlessly for expansion of the voting franchise. Turnout rose from 27% in 1824 to 57% in 1828, thus ushering in an Old Hickory to beat down the elites in D.C., so that We the People’s voice could be heard and acted upon to expand our liberty-fueled pursuits of happiness.
Before Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, citizens of the United States hadn’t been subject to a King as Chief Executive since the Battle of Yorktown vanquished the realm of King George III in 1781 in the Thirteen Colonies. Then came illegal deep water oil drilling moratoriums, amendments to Obamacare via executive fiat, a war on coal via illegal EPA regulation promulgation and Dream Acts of illegal amnesty via gross illegal usurpation of legislative power.
Twice, tea partier conservative and other Americans returned Republicans to power in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to stop Obamacare, Obamanomics and, in short, Obama Democrats’ policies that have chased millions of workers, small businesses and good paying jobs out of the work force while delivering a boom to their Wall Street cronies. Voters expected Speaker John Boehner’s House since 2010 and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate since last November’s 2014 mid-term election to at least stop funding and otherwise enabling Obama’s illegal and failed policies.
Yet, even before the newly elected Republicans could be sworn in, Boehner and McConnell formed a Lame Duck Caucus with King Obama to sell out the first 10 months of the New all-GOP Congress with a Cromnibus budget funding Obamacare, the political IRS, failed VA, job-killing EPA, albeit with a promise to “oppose” amnesty. Then, after being sworn, they kill a popular anti-late-term abortion bill to protect murder victims in the womb from pain after the 20th week of gestation and float a gas tax-hike trial balloon..
Betrayals since 2010 continue to mount, no matter how many historic landslides tea partiers deliver to the GOP. Whether this is because Boehner and McConnell still fear government shutdown-blame more than Jews ever feared Hitler or because they secretly favor Big Government and amnesty for cheap foreign labor, matters not.
Liberal Democrats will never be part of the solution to the problems that their policies have wrought. Nor will timid Republicans, but at least the latter can be whipped into voting the right way. But they won’t be so whipped by any Senate or House version.
No, the only way even a GOP-controlled Congress gets whipped into halting the march of totalitarian socialist policies, much less into repealing such laws and to advance policies that liberate Americans, will be after a hickory stick-whipping by one conservative Republican man or woman with courage in the White House, in the tradition of Andrew Jackson.
Hopefully a Rubio, Walker, Jindal, Cruz, Martinez, Haley or Pence can be that hickory-wielding man or woman in 2017. Until then, prepare for the worst.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
On September 10, 1813, after winning the Battle of Lake Erie at Put-In-Bay, Ohio, thus vanquishing the British Royal Navy from the Great Lakes in the War of 1812, U.S. Commander Oliver Hazard Perry declared: “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”
200 years later, Vladamir Putin’s Russian Navy guards Syria’s bays for Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry previously met Bashar al-Assad and declared him a “reformer”. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Putin and declared a “re-set” before Commander-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama met Putin-puppet Dmitry Medvedev and declared post-election strategic and nuclear arsenal-surrender “flexibility”; even as he begged to meet with Iran’s mullahs as they mowed down liberty-seeking youth in the streets. Continue reading