Culture

Trump’s Patron Saint

The elementary school tier social studies class connection made between the two leaders is “populism,” which because it is so true cannot be condemned for its simplicity. But in a way it is so much more than that. Populism as a historiographic term in the United States is just a sterile way of referring to the political opinions of non-elite White Americans. It’s not implicit Whiteness; it is Whiteness. Its values of Manifest Destiny, anti-elitism, and irreverence for political or governmental norms which are seen as harmful, are largely consistent among the more folkish of the American body politic across our history.

During the Obama years, the legacy of President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, came under considerable fire. The administration wanted him off the twenty-dollar bill, and the popular perception of Jackson became that he was a genocidal, racist, slave-holding bigot. As a White male president, his credentials as a good person historically were severely questioned relative to our present-day values even without his political legacy. One would not have a hard time finding a millennial who could tell them he was the worst or their least favorite president.

Well until President Donald Trump at least.

Trump, by the way, has taken a very different approach to the legacy and ritualized memory of Jackson. He has added a bust and portrait of Jackson to the Oval Office, and has likened himself to the former president on multiple occasions.

The elementary school tier social studies class connection made between the two leaders is “populism,” which because it is so true cannot be condemned for its simplicity.  But in a way it is so much more than that. Populism as a historiographic term in the United States is just a sterile way of referring to the political opinions of non-elite White Americans. It’s not implicit Whiteness; it is Whiteness. Its values of Manifest Destiny, anti-elitism, and irreverence for political or governmental norms which are seen as harmful, are largely consistent among the more folkish of the American body politic across our history.

Jackson gave voice to the idea that the United States was a country for free White persons of good character quite explicitly. All White men were granted voting rights under his presidency and he expanded the land in the country available to Whites via his Indian Removal policies. This was the Democratic platform centuries ago, clearly out of sync with its current namesake, which imports non-whites into the United States for electoral, economic, and pseudo-moral reasons that serve the interests of a managerial elite.

Trump operates in a much less free space than Jackson in terms of the ability of the government to act on pro-White interests, and so his inclinations are more muted, yet perhaps even more radical by today’s standards than Jackson’s were seen as in his own time. Trump wanting to ban travel from a few Muslim majority countries for a few months gets him in trouble with the media and the courts. Jackson wanting to internally deport Indian tribes from the Southeast to the Midwest got him in trouble with the media and the courts.

Trump’s recent visit to Jackson’s tomb in Tennessee was thus very powerful symbolically. He laid a wreath at the The Hermitage and saluted his distant  predecessor. It was also a major snub to his more immediate predecessor, Obama, whose own legacy will be blotted out from history at the rate Trump is moving. Iconoclasm is going to continue to ravage the American civil religion for the foreseeable future.

The timing couldn’t be better, as it also came at the same time a judge in Hawaii blocked Trump’s executive order, the so-called “Muslim ban,” on the grounds that it wasn’t a nice thing for him to do. (Presidents have the right to deny any class of foreigners entry to the United States, in case you were wondering). When Jackson was in office, he defied the courts when they tried to block his policies, and had the Indians physically removed, so to speak. Trump faces a similar quagmire as a handful of non-elected leftist activist judges are attempting to block the results of the election (his policies). “Let Hawaii enforce its decision,” should be his response. What right have a few Polynesian rocks to determine the whether foreign Muslims may access the entire territory of the United States? Hawaii’s right to block federal control over our borders is a legal fiction. The Founding Fathers of our nation never intended for this.

In Trump we have a watered-down Andrew Jackson. But in the White House, Jackson is literally watching over him. It would seem Trump has a patron saint. Hopefully he is of great guidance.

Walter Jackson
the authorWalter Jackson
Walter comes from a despised ethnic group that can unfortunately still be found all over the United States. His people are responsible for both defeating fascism and putting it in the White House.