A Jacksonian Party for America

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Because the current two suck

Donald Trump is often quizzed about his loyalty to the Republican party, a funny idea indeed coming from a party that is only loyal to itself. Just this past week the “conservative” Paul Ryan led the charge on a devastating omnibus spending bill of over a trillion dollars, a bill that pays off all sorts of special interest groups. The Donald said the only people it didn’t take care of were the American people. When Ronald Reagan moved his support into the Republican party he claimed he didn’t leave the Democratic party but it left him. This is something we can all say now about both parties and we should look to one of our greatest leaders for an alternative: Andrew Jackson.

President Andrew Jackson

President Andrew Jackson

Before, during, and after his presidency Andrew Jackson was a man’s man. He did what he thought was best and he shied away from no one. When a man insulted his wife’s honor Jackson challenged the man to a duel and let him have the first shot. Jackson was struck in the chest but remained upright and killed the bastard with his own shot. He carried that bullet for the rest of his days. Jackson loved his wife dearly and was the sort of husband many women want: a bold man who will look out for her without being a wimpy orbiter.

The perpetually offended hate Andrew Jackson. He owned slaves, he was rather cruel to the Native Americans, and he did other things that were common in the day. Despite these sins he viewed all men as equal, calling in 1814 to treat blacks as equals. On his deathbed he insisted he would see all of those around him — black and white — in Heaven. He was flawed, for sure, but he was as good a man as the circumstances could produce.

After all, we’re often told someone’s childhood impacts who they are. This is an oft used excuse to let a person free for crimes they have committed. Well, let Andrew Jackson go for the sins he committed at a time when those sins were viewed as acceptable.

Jackson’s party, the Democratic-Republicans, eventually turned into the Democrats. Not the ones of today, though they do share the name and the lineage. There are stark differences if you look back at what he stood for and what they stand for today. He stood against the Second Bank of the United States, telling Martin Van Buren, “The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it.”

The Second Bank story should be a familiar tune to us all: It made the rich richer at the expense of everyone else. It was a corrupt cancer on the monetary system and Jackson saw it for the problem it was — and he would likely see the Federal Reserve as an even bigger problem today. In a meeting with the men responsible, he said:

I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charger I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, I will rout you out!

Andrew Jackson routing out the evil bankers.

Andrew Jackson routing out the evil bankers.

This was said in 1834, by Jackson. In 1832 when he vetoed a bill regarding the Bank, he wrote, “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.” Sound familiar, like say H1B visas and H2B visas? He continued, “There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses.”

The Jacksonian Democrat view of banking is something nearly left to history. Only fringe parties hold that view any longer, the view that a pipeline between the federal government and the banking industry is bad for people.

Jackson was a constructionist as well, and he favored limited federal powers — to an extent. He also reigned in some of the more extreme states rights folks at the time because he believed that we were one nation, United. It’s unlikely he would support the centralization of government now, because he would see it for what it is: the powerful bending the government to their wants.

While remembered for using the power of veto, Jackson only had a total of twelve vetoes during his time in office. That is comparable with Chester A Arthur and George W. Bush. FDR has the most at 635 — and what a disaster he was, to boot.

One of the more amazing stories surrounding Jackson is actually the first assassination attempt on a sitting president. On January 30th, 1935, a lunatic drew a pistol and fired at Jackson. The first pistol misfired, so the lunatic drew a second and it also misfired. While the belief is that humidity caused the misfire, it is quite amazing that both of them misfired — later they were found to be in working order. What did Jackson do, in the face of this? He attacked the man with his cane and his own people had to pull him off.

Artist's Rendition of the Craziest Man Alive Trying to Shoot Jackson

Artist’s Rendition of the Craziest Man Alive Trying to Shoot Jackson

That same year Jackson paid off the entire national debt.

Absolutely a controversial and flawed figure, but a man that loved his nation and loved the people of it. He strove to keep the government from unjustly enriching the powerful and trodding on the powerless. He believed in a sound currency — money people could trust to be worth a damn. In foreign affairs he sought recompense from nations that had taken American ships and forced the sailors into servitude. America first, America always.

There is no resemblance to his policies in either party today, though one will claim to be looking out for the working man. In reality both parties are ruled by small groups of special interest voters and they only pay lip service to the majority of Americans. On the left, they cut favors to banks and the rich while also engaging in social justice crusades that produce no social justice but make their minority constituents feel better. This is in spite of the brutal damage done to minority families and individuals by the policies they advance. On the right, they cut deals for the rich, and engage in social and fiscal conservatism conquests that conquer nothing but make social and fiscal conservatives feel better, despite the damage they actually do to these causes.

The parties meet in the middle, though, for one purpose: themselves. You won’t find quicker agreement between the parties than when it concerns a net gain for both sides. On the left they hem and haw about taxes for the rich, but bail out billionaires and enact regulations that empower the rich. On the right, they want to lower taxes for the rich and get rid of government oversight that protects the powerless. At the end of the day it’s heads they win, tails we lose.

We need a party that is dedicated to routing them out, and by the Eternal, will rout them out.