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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:18

Trump right about Andrew Jackson

Written by 

To the Editor:

In his incessant, sophomoric screeds to diminish Trump, Chris Cox fails once again. He attempts to ridicule Donald Trump’s quote on the Civil War by trying to equate it to a quote from “Animal House.”

We’re all supposed to fall over in derision because Trump said something that Cox apparently thinks is on par with saying that Germany bombed Pearl Harbor, which is indeed an ignorant statement and unworthy of anyone in government. So, I’m left wondering; where was Cox’s faux outrage in March 2014 when Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison did say that Germany bombed Pearl Harbor? He later was a top contender for the DNC chair and was later named Deputy Chairman. Apparently, Democrats have higher standards for Republicans than they do for the leaders of their own party.

Cox compounds his hypocrisy by offering Joe Biden as his candidate of choice. Google “Biden gaffes.” Trump is Ciceronian by comparison. Concerned about Trump’s talking about sexual assault? How about Biden’s innumerable public pawings of women and young girls? Not to mention Bill Clinton’s record. Actions speak louder than words, but crickets from Mr. Cox on those incidents. 

Cox’s choice is the same Joe Biden who is No. 1 on the Cracked.com, Esquire and CNN websites for political plagiarists, handily beating out Obama who made honorable mention. Biden was forced to withdraw from the 1988 presidential race when his plagiarism was revealed. 

Notwithstanding the ad hominem attacks on Trump, Cox’s larger error is on substance.

Trump’s statement was not “really, astoundingly stupid.” It was not something the “average eighth-grader could refute.” Far from it. It was a question that has been asked since the Civil War began: could it have been avoided? It’s a very good question. All other countries ended slavery without internecine warfare. Why couldn’t, why didn’t we?

Civil War historians David Herbert Donald, Avery O. Craven, Charles W. Ramsdell, and James G. Randall among others have postulated that the war was preventable. 

Trump’s speculation that President Andrew Jackson might have prevented the war is not only supported by historians, but also by his actions in the Nullification crisis. Jackson may well have been the ideal person to prevent the carnage a future president wrought. Contemporaneous writers believed it as well, notably Judge William Johnson who stated in 1861, “If by transmigration, the soul of Andrew Jackson had occupied the body of James Buchanan, we would have had peace to-day.” 

Jackson’s response to South Carolina’s Ordinance of Nullification was typical. He was open to compromise and was instrumental in reducing the tariff. But, he also rammed through the “Force Bill” which gave him the power to use armed forces against South Carolina whose governor had assembled an army of 25,000 troops. He sent U.S. Navy warships to Charleston Harbor and threatened to hang any man who worked toward nullification or secession. South Carolina blinked. 

Had Jackson been in power instead of the ineffectual James Buchanan during “Bleeding Kansas,” it is unlikely he would have done nothing for three years to end it. In 1860, South Carolina, having just witnessed Buchanan’s waffling, had no reason to believe Buchanan would stop them from seceding. Jackson’s prior actions and reputation would not have left them so sanguine.

I can make quote comparisons, too. I would categorize Mr. Cox’s ruminations on a par with an actual quote from another Democrat Congressional luminary who stated, “My fear is that the whole island [Guam] will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”

Be honest, Mr. Cox. Your problem with Trump is not his intelligence (or lack thereof), his morals, or any action or statement he makes. Your problem with him is his politics.

Timothy Van Eck

Whittier

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