Trump pays 'inspirational' visit to his hero Andrew Jackson's Hermitage plantation


Others may think of history as a lens. Donald Trump regards it as a mirror.

On Wednesday, he traveled to Tennessee to commemorate the 250th birthday of the seventh president, Andrew Jackson, and toured Jackson’s plantation, which is known as the Hermitage.

“Inspirational visit, I have to tell you. I’m a fan,” Trump said outside Old Hickory’s Greek Revival-style mansion.

What apparently has struck the president most about his illustrious predecessor is how much he and Old Hickory have in common.

“They say my election was most similar to his,” Trump said during an appearance in Detroit, where he stopped before heading here for the Hermitage visit and an evening political rally in Nashville. “1828 – that’s a long time ago. Usually, they go back like to this one or that one, 12 years ago, 16. I mean, 1828, that’s a long way, that’s a long time ago.”

Although Jackson is regarded as the founder of the Democratic Party and won the popular vote, there are more than a few resemblances between the forces that elected the seventh president and the 45th.

Jackson, like Trump, was a wealthy man who gave voice to the frustrations and anger of working-class whites against moneyed interests.

A departure from the mannered elite who had been elected before him, the frontiersman son of Scots-Irish immigrants was known as “the people’s president.”

He upended the established order in Washington. As Trump has sought to do, Jackson wielded his executive powers boldly. An 1832 cartoon, captioned “King Andrew I,” depicted him in a crown and ermine robe. His was an appeal that the establishment of his day had difficulty understanding or accepting.

But unlike the current president, Jackson served in the military – becoming a national hero when he commanded a defeat of the British at the 1815 Battle of New Orleans – and spent time in government before assuming the nation’s highest office.

After Trump’s surprising victory last November, chief strategist Stephen Bannon predicted to the Hollywood Reporter that “like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement. The conservatives are going to go crazy.”

More recent interpretations of Jackson’s time in office have taken some of the sheen off his reputation. He supported slavery and forced Native Americans off their lands with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, leading to the “Trail of Tears” forced march that cost the lives of thousands.

The Obama administration called for Jackson to be bumped from the $20 bill in favor of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman, a decision that Trump at the time called “pure political correctness.”



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