My latest in PJ Media:
The far-Left rioters who attempted to topple the statue of Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square Monday night almost certainly know nothing whatsoever about him. What they were told in the Antifa indoctrination camps that are called higher education these days is that he was largely responsible for the forcible exile of Native Americans from the Eastern United States, the Trail of Tears, and is thus to be reviled and hated forever. What they were not told is that Jackson’s rationale for adopting this policy was quite similar to several core Leftist beliefs today.
As Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster explains, Jackson was a foremost advocate for the removal of the Indians from the settled areas of the United States, and their relocation in unsettled areas of the West. In May 1830, he signed the Indian Removal Act that made this recommendation the law of the land. This is today considered to be one of the black marks on his presidency and a shameful period in the history of the United States. This is a reasonable judgment, as this policy amounted to penalizing all Indians for the misdeeds of some Indian warriors, and it led to untold suffering.
It is noteworthy, however, particularly in light of the deep splits in American society today, that Jackson presented his Indian removal plan as beneficial not just for the Americans, but for the Indians as well. In his first annual message to Congress in December 1829, he said: “The condition and ulterior destiny of the Indian tribes within the limits of some of our states have become objects of much interest and importance. It has long been the policy of government to introduce among them the arts of civilization, in the hope of gradually reclaiming them from a wandering life.”
Jackson pointed out that the endeavor to civilize the Indians was inconsistent with the practice of buying Indian land: “This policy has, however, been coupled with another wholly incompatible with its success. Professing a desire to civilize and settle them, we have at the same time lost no opportunity to purchase their lands and thrust them farther into the wilderness. By this means they have not only been kept in a wandering state, but been led to look upon us as unjust and indifferent to their fate. Thus, though lavish in its expenditures upon the subject, government has constantly defeated its own policy, and the Indians in general, receding farther and farther to the west, have retained their savage habits.”
There is much more. Read the rest here.