Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Amusing Comparison


In a letter to the editor of an area newspaper, I was amused to read a favorable comparison of President Andrew Jackson to our future president Donald Trump.  The comparison claimed that Trump won the election because like President Jackson voters; Trump voters had also repudiated the influence of today’s media, academic and political elitist.  That comparison has merit, but historians might wonder if that comparison will eventually play out in a way the people, who voted for Hillary Clinton have feared.

I agree with those historians, who consider, Andrew Jackson the most amoral sociopath president, that our country ever had.  He personally killed many people in duels, and as a soldier, ordered his men to kill women and children when they raided Indian camps.

President Jackson pushed through the Indian Removal Act, which formally approved the ethnic cleansing that led to the Trail of Tears.  It was one of the most shameful moments in American history.  Jackson overruled the Supreme Court, and directed our soldiers to forcibly removed tens of thousands of Native Americans from the South.

The Trail of Tears was the relocation of members of the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Choctaw nations, from their homelands to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma).  Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their destinations.  Records show the death toll included 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee nation.

At the end of his life, Andrew Jackson said that he had but two regrets. His regrets were, that he had been unable to shoot Henry Clay or hang John C. Calhoun. 

Daniel Webster, John Calhoun and Henry Clay were congressional colleagues, who became known as the “Immortal Trio.”  In 1957, a Senate Committee selected Calhoun as one of the five greatest United States Senators of all time.

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