Saturday, March 18, 2017

More on the Bannon-Trump cartoon version of Andrew Jackson

Adele Stan gives us a glimpse of Trump’s Race-Baiting Bromance with Andrew Jackson The American Prospect 03/15/2017.

It's good description of how the white supremacist right uses the image of Andrew Jackson.

Sadly, it's lacking in evidence of anything more than a superficial understanding of the actual political history of the Jacksonian Era.

Which is an indication of why the right and far-right in the US dos a better job than the left or the center-left in drawing on American historical iconography of American history and using it to define true "Americanism."

But Digby Parton is right in the conclusion she draws from Adele Stan's description of Trump demogogic pseudo-Jacksonianism (It's never just the economic populism is it? Hullabaloo 03/17/2017):

This is right wing populism. And it's very potent because it pits middle and lower class whites against people they already look down upon. Left wing populism is a heavier lift because white people in America see themselves as members of the same tribe as rich white people. Their resentment and fear of the wealthy doesn't run nearly as deep. They want to identify with them --- foreigners and people of color not so much. The class identification gets subsumed by the nationalist/racial identification.
she also links to this piece by Asawin Suebsaeng on Bannon-Trump version of "Andrew Jackson," Steve Bannon Pushed Trump to Go Full Andrew Jackson Daily Beast 03/16/2017.

And he rightly says, "The parallels between Trump and Jackson are, in many ways, deeply flawed. Jackson brawled with the established elite of the era, whereas Trump has, despite his rhetoric, emboldened them. Jackson came from poverty and was known as a war hero, while Trump was born into wealth and dodged the draft. Trump is a deeply divisive and outwardly bigoted figure.

But then he goes on to say that Jackson was worse than Trump has been so far: "Jackson, however, committed mass murder and ethnic cleansing."

The best I could say about that judgment is that it's just not meaningful as a description of Jackson's Indian policy, as bad as it was.

At some point, we need to ask people who make this kind of argument at what point, if any, that American history is pure enough for liberals and the left to take any lessons at all from it.

Since we still have a Constitution that was ratified in 1789 that incorporated political and legal traditions from centuries before that, there's reason not to ignore it all. I'm just saying.

There's also reason not to careful concede the interpretation of American history to the Steve Bannon's of the world.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Jackson, that habit has become widespread on the left and center-left. Here are three examples from January:

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