Thursday, April 21, 2016
The New Populism: Jackson Out, Tubman In
These days it means something very different to be a progressive. These days respect for the rights of women and minorities is the absolute standard, and while progressives all say they favor the poor over the rich their actual economic policies fall on a wide spectrum from Bernie Sanders to Bill Clinton. In our America financier Alexander Hamilton can be the hero of a hip-hop musical because he opposed slavery and fought against southern white slave owners, never mind that his policies amounted to a sweet deal for financial speculators and a raw one for many poor veterans.
Personally I never liked Jackson and will be happy to see the last of his face. But it would be misrepresenting American history to portray Hamilton as some kind of progressive, or to forget that Jackson really was a great hero to millions of poor and middle class whites.