President Andrew Jackson And Donald Trump
Loving history and reading about it has led me to often link Donald Trump with President Andrew Jackson. It probably comes as no surprise that I am not a fan in any way of Jackson. His character and constant male machismo was uncouth, his bank policy unsound, and his dealing with American Indians deadly, racist, and dreadful.
Which is why I think of the similarities between Trump and Jackson.
Several years ago I read Jon Meacham’s book (linked below) and in 2015 read Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep about John Ross, the Cherokee Chief during the Trail of Tears. Ross is part of my family genealogy on my grandmother’s side.. Each took a pointed position about Jackson and they are correct in their historical assessments.
Today I read this and thought it worthy of posting.
Jon Meacham: “The biggest distinction is experience. Jackson came to the presidency as a former judge, general, senator and presidential candidate. Despite his rabble-rousing image — opponents worried Jackson would become an ‘American Bonaparte’ — Jackson was in fact at home in the precincts of power because he’d been around the capital a good deal before becoming president.”
“The other key difference is that Jackson knew how to manage his own weaknesses. He wasn’t always successful at it, but a Jacksonian temper tantrum or threat was often calculated, not unhinged. We don’t yet know whether Trump can pull off the same feat of compensating for — and even leveraging — his hypersensitivity, for instance, and his weakness for hyperbole and chaos. I hope he can do what Jackson did and turn these vices into means for virtuous ends. To me, that’s perhaps the greatest question about Trump and temperament.”
Meacham’s book, American Lion: Andrew Jackon in the White House, is highly recommended.