There’s only one sentence appropriate to introduce this posting: I’m angry, sad, and embarrassed!
Someone must have forgotten that television is a world-wide accessible medium for communications. Last night was an embarrassment to our nation, a ridicule of the Office of the President, and extremely juvenile display of testosterone! It is a shameful thing to proclaim oneself as the “appropriate choice” to lead this nation, founded on virtues, morals, and liberty when one can allow these words to fall out of one’s mouth: “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about what to do to America’s enemies…kill them!” Just search for “Gingrich + Andrew Jackson” and pull up the 23 second YouTube video clip. One must be very careful when spouting historical “facts” to support one’s position, pulling them out of one’s mental arsenal like a business card to “represent” your position and stance on a given topic. Someone might actually take you seriously.
If Speaker Gingrich was to recall the history of Andrew Jackson, perhaps he wouldn’t be so ready to whip out that factoid and thrust it upon a frustrated and undecided South Carolina audience. Andrew Jackson, in his seventh annual message to Congress, after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, decided the desires and needs of the settlers was more important than those of the native American Indian. Even after the ruling of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall who reviewed the case (Worcester v. Georgia) finding the Indians in full right to their own land, their own nation and declaring that Georgia settlers had to get the permission of the Cherokee Indians to be on their land; Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the law. Another situation where the President put himself above the law and due process.
The result of Andrew Jackson’s pathetic leadership was the death of thousands of Indians across five tribes. Does the “Trail of Tears” phrase sound familiar to you? It should, its not a poem, or a play, this was the fate of the real Native American Indians, forced to leave their lands, their homes, their crops, their hunting grounds…some in the dead of winter; pushed out in such a hurry they were barefoot and many unable to collect any possessions. This arbitrary usurpation of native’s sovereignty and arrogance demonstrated by Andrew Jackson shows a complete lack of understanding and concern about the impact of American settler’s greed on the indigenous people’s welfare.
“The Creek Indians refused to go. So United States soldiers came to their homes, chained them together, and marched them toward the west. Hungry, cold, and weighted down with chains, thirty-five hundred Creek Indians died before reaching the new Indian territory.” (The History of the World, 2004, Peace Hill Press) The Seminoles had factions between tribes, the White Stick and Red Stick Seminoles. The Indian Removal Act was forcing Indians further and further West; to the point that America’s actions were forcing enemies to be geographically close to one another. The pages of history books are filled with the injustices, inequalities, greed and arrogance toward the Indians…you can read for yourself.
Personally, I would not be proud to compare myself to Andrew Jackson, even if he were a “great President!” The irony of Gingrich putting himself on the same level by espousing his Brutus approach to administration boggles the mind. How can one with such a cavalier tongue be considered worthy of the highest elected office in the nation? “There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.” Robert Louis Stevenson (from his book “Kidnapped“)
When we debate and wrestle with the issues of our nation: the economy, foreign policy, health care for an increasingly aging population, jobs, etc; we have a responsibility and an opportunity to set an example not only for our youth, but the entire world. We should not argue the sanctity of life professing to be a pro-life advocate out of one side of our mouths, but out of the other declare predatory policy towards our enemies. Is it right for a Republican Christian spout those words and selectively forget Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Has our secular sacred split become so ruptured that there is no more charity in the heart of our nation?
My children watched the South Carolina Debates on FoxNews with me. They expressed equal disdain for such an attitude. I was not proud to be in the presence of my children, observing the behavior of adults being so careless in their sublime chest-thumping bravado! My son sat and drew a comic representation of the candidates I thought was too humorous not to share.
May the best man win!
- YourNews: Historical society marks battle anniversary (knoxnews.com)
- Republican Candidates Open Up on Foreign Policy (thewesternexperience.com)
- For and Against: Two Sides of the 1830s Indian Removal (prweb.com)
- Gingrich wins Fox South Carolina Debate (brvanlanen.wordpress.com)
- Newt’s Bright Night (slate.com)
- Trail of Tears (dickiebo.wordpress.com)
- What You Missed While Not Watching the Fox News South Carolina GOP Debate (swampland.time.com)
- Narcissim and arrogance of GOP (literarylew.wordpress.com)
- ARTICLE: Indian Territory (Oklahoma’s origins) (clockbear13.wordpress.com)
- GOP Debate: Candidates Face Off Ahead Of South Carolina Primary (huffingtonpost.com)