Long before President Donald Trump stepped onto the political scene, a 61-year-old veteran of guerrilla warfare in the American Revolution fought his way from the political trenches to the White House by drumming up anti-establishment fervor that swept the American populace.
This man was Andrew Jackson, and in 1829 he became America’s seventh president after having run an outsider’s campaign — much like Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign — that resonated strongly with the American people.
“One of the central themes of Jackson’s election, like Trump’s, was that a permanent political class had rooted itself in the nation’s capital and needed to be expunged,” The Daily Signal noted. “Many bureaucrats had spent their entire careers in Washington, D.C., despite, in many cases, their incompetence, corruption, and general uselessness.”
And as was reported by The New York Times earlier this week, this great man’s portrait now hangs in the Oval Office. Establishment politicians in both the Democrat and Republican parties must be horrified — and rightfully so.
Jackson was “America’s original anti-establishment candidate, according to Smithsonian magazine, and just like President Trump, he was loathed by mainstream political and media figures such as Margaret Bayard Smith, a well-known writer and publisher of the era.
“The Majesty of the People had disappeared,” she reportedly said of Jackson’s inauguration. “A rabble, a mob, of boys, negroes, women, children, scrambling fighting, romping … The whole (White House) had been inundated by the rabble mob.”
She sounded just as bitter and despondent as the establishment hacks who make up the contemporary media. Sadly for her, Jackson’s actions in office only made things that much worse for the establishment.
During his eight-year presidency, for instance, he waged a war against the corrupt Bank of the United States, eventually removing its federal deposits and distributing them to several dozen other private banks.
He also made one of the most stunning defenses of term limits in American history during his first annual message to Congress on Dec. 8, 1829. It showed that even then, the Washington “swamp” needed draining:
There are, perhaps, few men who can for any great length of time enjoy office and power without being more or less under the influence of feelings unfavorable to the faithful discharge of their public duties. Their integrity may be proof against improper considerations immediately addressed to themselves, but they are apt to acquire a habit of looking with indifference upon the public interests and of tolerating conduct from which an unpracticed man would revolt.
Office is considered as a species of property, and government rather as a means of promoting individual interests than as an instrument created solely for the service of the people. Corruption in some and in others a perversion of correct feelings and principles divert government from its legitimate ends and make it an engine for the support of the few at the expense of the many. The duties of all public officers are, or at least admit of being made, so plain and simple that men of intelligence may readily qualify themselves for their performance; and I cannot but believe that more is lost by the long continuance of men in office than is generally to be gained by their experience. I submit, therefore, to your consideration whether the efficiency of the Government would not be promoted and official industry and integrity better secured by a general extension of the law which limits appointments to four years.
In a country where offices are created solely for the benefit of the people no one man has any more intrinsic right to official station than another. Offices were not established to give support to particular men at the public expense.
No individual wrong is, therefore, done by removal, since neither appointment to nor continuance in office is a matter of right. The incumbent became an officer with a view to public benefits, and when these require his removal they are not to be sacrificed to private interests. It is the people, and they alone, who have a right to complain when a bad officer is substituted for a good one.
He who is removed has the same means of obtaining a living that are enjoyed by the millions who never held office. The proposed limitation would destroy the idea of property now so generally connected with official station, and although individual distress may be sometimes produced, it would, by promoting that rotation which constitutes a leading principle in the republican creed, give healthful action to the system.
Granted, Jackson was by no means a great president.
But it did not matter because the people loved him nonetheless, primarily because he — like President Donald Trump — was willing to stand up to the establishment and speak on behalf of the American people themselves.
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H/T The Daily Signal