A Politician

While reading AMERICAN LION, Andrew Jackson in the White House, by Jon Meacham, I got a glimpse into American life roughly 30 years before the American Civil War.  Throughout the book the nation was always on the cusp of a Civil War anyway.  South Carolina clearly led the way in wanting nullification.    

 The two term former seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, spoke of upholding the constitution, of honor and justice, of individual freedom and personal rights. Although when he spoke, he forgot to exclude the Native American and African American populations.  He was a slave owner who didn’t do a thing about being a human and owning another human slave. He told Indian tribes to leave the land that they rightfully owned and move westward.  Many tribes listened but were killed anyway.  Yet he adopted a full blooded Native American that he welcomed to his family. 

Jackson was complicated at best and an absolute hypocrite at worst.  Oh, he was a politician!  In one paragraph, John Quincy Adams made a point that according to this book, Jackson agreed with.  The point being, “politics is brutal because it engages the most fundamental human impulses for affection, honor, power and fame.”  And that, “politics is an imperfect means to an altruistic end.”  Well put.  Don’t you think?