Jamison 1 Helena Jamison Professor Namrata De Roy English Composition II May 3, 2019 Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump: Two Sides of the Same Coin History repeats itself: A claim that is always mentioned whenever a major event happens in modern times, especially if said event is tragic. The main concern in recent years deals with our current president, Donald J. Trump, and his ties to nationalist ideologies along with his somewhat outlandish personality. With the rise of the Alt-Right and the new Neo-Nazis, a lot of his critics compare his candidacy to that of Adolf Hitler. However, these critics seem to ignore the fact that America has had its own leader who Trump seems to relate more to. Andrew Jackson made a massive mark in American history by being the face behind one of the worst tragedies that has occurred on this land: The Trail of Tears. Many often wonder how something so appalling can happen on such a wide scale, but they tend to ignore the warning signs that lead up to such a horrific event. Trump’s critics also seem to ignore these warning signs; however, they have been prevalent throughout his presidency. Furthermore, these comparisons do not only apply to warning signs. Although they are two people who have had to face different issues depending on their respective time periods, the parallel between Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump can be seen through their upbringings, populism, otherization, and criticism; thus, the way the history can repeat itself should cause one to be more educated on the past in order to prepare for the future. Jackson’s popularity was primarily based on the fact that he appealed to the whims and concerns of the white working class, who took up a large percentage of the population in the Jamison 2 early 1800s. He was also recognized for his war efforts against British during the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Despite being well known as an adolescent, Jackson grew up in poverty and knew nothing of the privileged lifestyle that previous candidates were already accustomed to. All in all, he was considered a “common man” by his supporters, as he broke the traditional expectation that comes with being a presidential candidate. His humble beginning seems to contrast that of Trump, who was born into wealth as his father was an affluent real estate agent in New York. He perfectly represents the expression of being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as he can refer to a loan of a million dollars “small”. Rather than being recognized for military or government experience prior to his candidacy, Trump was mostly known for his reality show “The Apprentice” where he showed how ruthless he was when it came to business and handling money. His surname is embolden on buildings throughout New York City, so there is no doubt he would be considered elite. While comparing this to the upbringing of Jackson, one might believe that their political disparities would clash; however, this is not the case. Prior to the late 1860s, white men had only been the ones who could vote legally. However, the voter turnout seemed to be determined based on class status. Those who had a higher income, commonly referred to as the “elite” would often dominate elections both in votes and in running for government positions. Jackson recognized this and often would criticize how unrepresented southern democrats (or rather democratic-republicans) were in previous elections. He began his political career in 1812 and used his lawyer status and less fortunate background to establish his support of populism. Many of the followers who praised his attack of the elite would show their approval through rallies, where they were reckless and disorderly. This came as a shock to his opponents as any type of unruly behavior in politics was considered savage. Even after he was elected, Jackson would continue to discredit the elite. In 1832, Congress had Jamison 3 issued a twenty year charter to the Bank of the United States and the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson vetoed the bill in distrust of the amount of power the banks would have over the country, as he states “[w]e must at least take a stand against all new grants of monopolies and...against any prostitution of our Government” (“Andrew Jackson”). This veto instilled his voters’ support throughout his entire presidential term. It’s no secret that Trump was inspired by Jackson’s populistic ideologies, as he used them to appeal to the modern working class. The only difference, though, is that the working class in America is more diverse and entails blue collar labor over white collar labor. Trump’s candidacy ran on the promise of supplying more jobs for American workers and getting the country further out of debt through said jobs. Steve Bannon, who was Trump’s former chief specialist, reportedly “saw a populist kindred spirit—and a suitably rabble-rousing model for the antiestablishment course he hoped Trump would follow. Trump agreed.” (Glasser). Since Trump has been in office, his promises have yet to be fulfilled as he’s dealing under media scrutiny after the release of the Mueller report. Another popular political strategy is creating the idea of the “other” and then swearing protection from said threat. Jackson was known for his unbridled hatred towards Native Americans, which was a common phenomenon among southern Anglo-Saxons. On top of his promise to represent the white lower class, he also swore to gain more land that Native Americans were occupying. The Cherokees and other tribes that lived in Georgia had assimilated to Anglo-Saxon ideologies. They practiced Christianity and established their own government in order to separate themselves from the other “savages”. Worcester v. Georgia was a Supreme Court case that recognized the natives as their own sovereign nation and advised Jackson to not remove them from their land. Jackson promptly ignored their requests and passed the Indian Jamison 4 Removal Act of 1830. Thousands of Native Americans had to travel hundred to thousands on miles on foot into the west without enough food or water, which resulted in more than fourthousand deaths. Jackson saw this act of cruelty as necessary, and during the State of Union Address of 1830, he suggested that the Cherokee Indians “would gladly embrace the opportunity of removing to the West” as an excuse for the turmoil he put them through. It was intentionally misleading in an attempt to justify the horrors that the Cherokee Indians had to go endured that many would not see his decision as ruthless. Trump is no stranger to nationalistic ideologies. His entire campaign was based on creating false enemies of America and demonizing them,“‘They are not our friend, believe me,’ he said, before disparaging Mexican immigrants: ‘They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people’” (Reilly). One of his major slogan during his running years was “Build the Wall!” which was in support of homeland security through a brick wall placed on the border of Mexico. His supporters are often wearing merchandise that suggests his ideas will “Make America Great Again” and they are avid in their attempts to remove illegal immigrants. The most effective thing that Trump has done to further their removal was to separate families crossing at the border. It is unknown whether or not these efforts will continue due to a possible chance that he will be impeached in the upcoming years; however, he still holds the power to do as much damage as he can. No president ever serves without those who counter every decision they make. Jackson and Trump are definitely no exception to this accusation. With his stubborn personality and his failure to abide by the request of the Supreme Court, Jackson was commonly faced with opposition. Many critics found him to be hypocritical in how he used his political power. Soon after he was inaugurated, Jackson got rid of the previous political staff and replaced the positions Jamison 5 with those he knew and liked personally. This was referred to as the Kitchen Cabinet, and Jackson continued this process throughout his candidacy. “[He believed that] ‘to the victor goes the spoils’ and the resulting spoils system assigned federal posts as gifts for partisan loyalty rather than as jobs that required experience or expertise” (Hewitt, 298). Those who opposed him created the Whig Party, and in 1833, a member anonymously published a photo called “King Andrew the First” that depicted Andrew Jackson as a king as a way to ridicule his presidency by interpreting it as a monarchy. In his left hand, he holds a veto bill and while standing on the U.S Constitution. The words “Of Veto Memory”, “Born to Rule”, and “Had I Been Consulted” borders the image to ridicule his decision to veto the charter and to continue Native American removal against the wishes of the Supreme Court. Others from the Whig Party attacked Jackson by implying that his late wife, Rachel, slept with him outside of wedlock. She died before he was inaugurated and Jackson accuses his opposers of stressing her to death. Trump’s presidency is currently exists in infamy, as his campaign primarily focused on the defamation of immigrants and his proposal to build a wall around the border. Most young modern voters tend to be more progressive and vote for the candidate with the least controversies. They saw right through his supposed support of populism when the Republican voter turnout was predicted to be consisted only of the upper-class. According to the Election 2016: Exit Polls from The New York Times, more than half of Trump’s supporters had an income of $99,000 and up, meaning a majority of Trump’s support came from the elite that he was supposedly against. On top of being inaugurated, he immediately request a tax break for the wealthy which was instantly met with opposition. Similar to Jackson’s cabinet, previously held political positions were cleared to be filled by those that the president only liked personally, not based on whether or not they’re fit for the job: “Now more than a year into the Trump Jamison 6 administration, over a dozen notable members of both the White House and the administration at large have left their posts” (Stracqualursi). This realization has caused major distrust in his candidacy as his approval rating is below 50%. More distrust grew as news came out that Trump cheated on his wife with a known pornstar named Stephanie Clifford, otherwise known as Stormy Daniels. Though he denies these claims, the reputation as a cheater still follows him to this day and tarnishes any attempts of him to call himself ‘loyal’ or ‘trustworthy’. Brutality that happens at fast rates is often ignored until there is mass tragedy at the hands of a leader. History has shown that there are typically warning signs in these leaders before the tragedy happens, and these warning signs typically have to do with systematic oppression against groups of people. While Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump have had to deal with different problems due to their different time periods, both of these presidents have many similarities that shows how history is capable of repeating itself. Therefore, being educated on the past can provide warning signs for what to expect in the future. It would be easy to point at a few similarities and claim that history is repeating itself through those alone, but it’s not that simple. Researching history is not just learning about the lives of the past, it’s looking for the same beats. The same dog whistling that can cause panic and uprise is delivered through the message, not necessarily the messenger. As one can pick apart these two individuals personality wise, another can pick up on the signs and strategies they use to cause an uproar. Trump’s presidency is ongoing as of now, and we might not know what he is planning exactly, but through learning the signals through past mistakes, we can prepare for whatever may follow next. Jamison 7 Works Cited “Andrew Jackson, Veto of the Bank Bill (1832).” Voices of Freedom a Documentary History, by Eric Foner, Norton, 2011, pp. 193–196. Glasser, Susan B., et al. “The Man Who Put Andrew Jackson in Trump's Oval Office.” POLITICO Magazine, 22 Jan. 2018, www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/22/andrew-jackson-donald-trump-216493. Hewitt, Nancy A., and Steven F. Lawson. Exploring American Histories: a Survey with Sources. Bedford/St. Martin's, Macmillan Learning, 2017. pp.296, 327-331 Jamison 8 Huang, Jon, et al. “Election 2016: Exit Polls.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Nov. 2016, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/08/us/politics/election-exit-polls.html. Jackson, Andrew. “State of the Union (1830).” Teaching American History, 2014, pp. 13-15. teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/state-of-the-union-address-38/. King Andrew the First. Library of Congress, Weitenkampf, 1833. Reilly, Katie. “Donald Trump: All the Times He's Insulted Mexico.” Time, Time, 31 Aug. 2016, time.com/4473972/donald-trump-mexico-meeting-insult/. Stracqualursi, Veronica, et al. “A List of Officials Who Have Left the Trump Administration.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 29 Mar. 2018, abcnews.go.com/Politics/list-officials-left-trump-administration/story?id=49334453.