Contra my man Rob, I think ol’ Andy Jackson should stay put on the Twenty. I make my case in Taki’s Mag today. An excerpt:
The anti-Jackson bromides are not only wrongheaded but ignorant of the president’s impact on American democracy. Jackson was a man of ferocious ambition, of unworldly perseverance, and of seemingly unbreakable grit. He went from orphaned teenager to the highest office in the land, battling enemies far more powerful than himself along the way. His honor-driven frontiersman style is an American motif that has popped up periodically through our history. His effect on how we view government is reason enough to keep his saber-scarred face on our money.
The first time Jackson ran for president he won the popular vote but was denied the office by backdoor finagling between John Quincy Adams and then-Speaker Henry Clay. The corrupt bargain ignited a defiant spark in Jackson, who ran a populist campaign the next go-around, formally ushering in a democratic shift the founders warned against. He derided the political class as corrupt and in the pocket of elite interests (sound familiar?). He gave a voice to the farmers and laborers who had yet to experience political influence in the short history of the republic. The campaign was an incredible success. Jackson won a landslide victory with the backing of poor, newly enfranchised whites.
Read the whole defense here. The story of Andrew Jackson should be embraced, warts and all. Was he a dick? Of course. But, like Donald Trump, he was a dick to the right kind of people. And that’s good enough for me.
Oh, and why do you hate America so much, Rob?
Conservatives on social media more or less agree: Harriet Tubman was a badass (and a Republican!!1) who used guns and stuff, and Andrew Jackson was an douchebag Democrat who ruled like a dictator.
Sounds about right I guess. I’m personally A-OK with Jackson getting the boot, because he gave us now-deified mob democracy and represents the worst of the Imperial Presidency.
But my gut tells me that this can’t be the end of the story, because Republicans contorting themselves to act as though Democrats Are The Real Racists never actually scores them any points; they are here to serve as the court jester for progressives to compare themselves to, playing the loser from the backwater province known as the past. Someone way less smart and cool than progressives must be outraged at history moving forward, right?
I haven’t seen any specific examples yet, but before even writing this sentence I assume that there’s a practical cottage industry of “look at these 12 Twitter accounts who said racist things about Harriet Tubman!” articles. Let’s check:
Mariani does it again! Or maybe it’s not that I’m clairvoyant, but that the media is always willing to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find a few people with double-digit follower counts on Twitter to confirm something that we’re all already supposed to believe: that there’s a powerful racist conspiracy controlling America. Is the tweet from @whitepower12345, a 7-hour-old account with 6 followers and an egg avatar, seriously not enough to convince you?
Is there a white supremacist ideology dominating society’s powerful institutions? I don’t know. But there’s some evidence that that this isn’t the case. Exhibit A: the government just opted to replace a white man with a black woman on the twenty-dollar bill.
Why do liberals care that former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert molested four young boys?
That’s a serious question. Federal prosecutors allege that Hastert sexually abused at least four students while coaching wrestling at Yorkville High School in Illinois. He subsequently tried to cover up the molestation by paying the victims $3.5 million in hush money. No such luck, as the PATRIOT Act, which Hastert was indispensable in shepherding through Congress, alerted law enforcement officials to the payoffs.
George Bernard Shaw would be hard-pressed to create such delicious irony.
Liberals, seizing on the personal hypocrisy of a midwestern Republican leader, are going ape shit over Hastert’s alleged diddling of teenage boys. Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon demands that “no pity” be given for the former Speaker. The comment sections of left-wing havens like Slate.com are littered with contempt and denunciations of Hastert’s perversion.
I honestly don’t understand how the Left can be so stinging in its criticism of Hastert. Aren’t we supposed to be accepting of the alternative sexual choices of others? Isn’t it bigoted to cast judgment upon those can’t help their sexual preference? And doesn’t social justice warriorism claim that men can’t be raped?
If Denny Hastert sexually abused male students in his role as a teacher and mentor, liberals have no reason to be incensed by his behavior. After all, it wasn’t conservatives who led the effort to rid sex of reasonable limits. Progressives started it, and, boy, do they intend to finish it.
Daniel Clowes did it first, but I have future predictions of my own:
- We will be ashamed for ever believing the things we currently think are cool were ever, in fact, cool.
- Many computers will choose to convert to Catholicism.
- Furries will routinely use gene therapy to become more like their animal-esque personas
- Desire modification will become really common and confusing. People already modify their desire to desire sex (aphrodisiacs) and desire to not desire drugs (rehab.) But thanks to advances in neuroscience, people in the future will be modifying their desire to desire to desire to desire…
- In an effort to stave off nihilism, many people will use brain implants to force themselves to faithfully mimic the behavior/memes of their ancestors.
- In the wake of the collapse of earlier revenue models, pornography and advertisements will overlap. When seeing a commercial, viewers will have an option to watch the actors in the commercial have sex as an alternate ending (18+ only). Mattress commercials are the obvious low-hanging fruit here.
- Virtual reality will make anime real, and new sexual orientations will be made to accommodate people who maintain virtual relationships with their perfect waifus.
- Smart contracts and robotic enforcement will make property far more sovereign (immune to politics) than it’s ever been. There will also be corporations that are operated by literally nobody, just artificial intelligence.
It’s gonna be pretty crazy.
The GOP is in Civil War, as Rod Dreher says. There are few possibilities of a Trump victory as pointed out by Noah Millman, he will lose against Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders he would probably perform even more poorly. So is there a hope. For those who read The American Conservative the permanent mantra of Pat Buchanan is that Trump would win against Hillary because he is populist. I think there are a lot of flaws in that declaration, Jesse Walker shows that the term populist had been used for a long time for very different political characters, just like some people seem Trump as a populist, liberals and some independents seem him as a demagogue. Even those on the left who could recognize him as a populist probably would prefer to throw their support behind Sanders who in a general election would accuse Trump of being a millionaire who wants to simply buy the election. While I consider myself a proud anti-imperialist, despite the efforts of Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, few people consider foreign policy their main priority. Even if Trump probably would be less hawkish than Hillary, his defeat is almost a ccertainty. So what could happen to the future of Republican Party?
Trumpkins. The establishment would face a difficult challenge if Donald Trump doesn’t get a majority of the delegates at the convention. But whether they support him or make a last attempt to stop him, they would alienate one of two groups. If they support Trump, independents might prefer the Democratic nominee whoever it is. If they support another candidate, trumpkins might feel betray and stay at home in November. What would happen after that, the establishment really hates Trump but knows that in order to win they need their supporters. However after 2016, like in the 90s with Buchanan or in 2010 with the Tea Party, the GOP would face an existential challenge. The big question is whether Trump would run in 2020.
The establishment. Trump’s rise had shown that many Republican primary voters have little interest in neoconservatism. It seems also that Israel is not a priority for conservatives, even evangelical Christians. Another Wall Street Journal editorial calling for tax cuts and open borders wouldn’t change that. There could be consequences for not heeding what were once the Buchanan supporters in the 90s or the Paul supporters in the 2000s. Being out of power so much time could have certain effects, Jon Huntsman was almost a parody of a RINO in the 2012 primary, however as one of few national figures with bipartisan appeal the GOP may trust him for a comeback.
Libertarians. On the one hand the popularity of Trump is a clear example that a majority of Republicans are not libertarians, however it also has shown that they could vote for an anti-establishment candidate. The major surprise of this election is that the one calling for getting out of NATO is Trump. The average GOP voter maybe not be a perfect anti-imperialist but don’t buy the neocon foreign policy either. So could they want the libertarian realism of Rand Paul, I doubt it. Probably Justin Amash and Thomas Massie are going to have a better chance.
Social Conservatives. They might find out the hard way that corporate America is not going to be friendly with them. Especially Hollywood and Silicon Valley differ too much from their agenda of religious freedom. I don’t think it’s surprising that corporate America could panic more from Trump than Sanders because Scandinavia had shown that corporations could survive higher taxes, when the state take care of the necessities of workers instead of them. Immigration is a subject that Trump raised but the establishment also know that corporate America wants open borders forcheap labor. It is very difficult to imagine how they would nominee in the future Cruz, Huckabee or Santorum but the real question is if they could choose Trump again.