Tag Archives: 2016 Election

Defense of Citizenry

Fans of the musical “Hamilton” enjoy hearing the Framer rap… about issues dealing with our Constitution.  A novel approach that has undoubtedly peaked the interest of the notoriously cynical millennial generation.

 

Practically Historical encourages young audiences to read Hamilton… as his political writings are some of the most valuable in the American canon.

I do more than rap

I do more than rap

Americans have granted power to a most dangerous demagogue… and he appears willing to sacrifice almost anything for what he defines as “security.”   Hamilton cautioned his people in Federalist #8

 

“But in a country, where the perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it, her armies must be numerous enough for instant defence. The continual necessity for his services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionally degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees, the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors, but as their superiors.”

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History Wishes for the New Year

Things only a historian could wish for….

  • Paul Ryan becomes the next Henry Clay- reestablishing the power of Congress against an Imperial Presidency
  • Legitimate scholarship on the Obama Presidency
  • Completion of the Eisenhower Memorial on the National Mall- followed by greater appreciation of his Presidency
  • Congress take a leading role in preserving historical sites around the country
  • Stop destroying Confederate monuments
  • Stop flying the Confederate flag on government property
  • Stop the indiscriminate renaming of buildings and institutions- more debate, less emotion please
  • Judge historical figures in the context of THEIR time, not ours
  • A multi-volume biography of James Madison
  • More research, scholarship, and debate- fewer musicals
  • End all foolish talk of secession- 715,000 Americans died destroying that fallacy
  • A Civil War movie from the soldiers’ point of view- not politically correct drivel about race
  • More living historians- fewer PhD’s
  • Every vote counts- and the electoral process works- accept it.
Destroying history to feel "safe"

Destroying history to feel “safe”

 

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Defense of Citizenry

Fans of the musical “Hamilton” enjoy hearing the Framer rap… about issues dealing with our Constitution.  A novel approach that has undoubtedly peaked the interest of the notoriously cynical millennial generation.

 

Practically Historical encourages young audiences to read Hamilton… as his political writings are some of the most valuable in the American canon.

I do more than rap

I do more than rap

Americans have granted power to a most dangerous demagogue… and he appears willing to sacrifice almost anything for what he defines as “security.”   Hamilton cautioned his people in Federalist #8

 

“But in a country, where the perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it, her armies must be numerous enough for instant defence. The continual necessity for his services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionally degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees, the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors, but as their superiors.”

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Choosing the Best Men

President-elect Trump should take notes from Lincoln’s example… As the country waits impatiently for Trump to roll out his cabinet, all eyes are now focused on the all important position of Secretary of State.  A laundry list of sycophants and “yes” men have emerged to offer advice, or themselves, to Trump for consideration.  The lack of foresight in the choices already made sends a clear message that he’s not looking for the best men, just “his” men.  He obviously isn’t ready to learn from history.

Rivals no longer

Rivals no longer

Lincoln snatched William H. Seward’s dream… the Republican Presidential nomination, right from his grasp in 1860.  Rather than humiliating a vanquished foe, Lincoln turned to Seward for help.  The crisis at hand demanded the best people in our government.  Lincoln could have built a team of acolytes who possessed little beyond loyalty.  Seward was the best man for the job and he was Lincoln’s first cabinet appointment.  The two men put aside their political and personal differences and formed the diplomatic team that saved the Union.

Get off my lawn!

Get off my lawn!

Trump trolls Twitter feeds looking for conflict and indignation… Not the kind of coalition building promised following his rather indecisive victory.

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2016 in Context

Americans have elected unorthodox candidates to the Presidency before… though Donald Trump’s victory could prove to be the most radical of them all.  Here is a list of the stranger decisions of our electorate…

 

5.  William Henry Harrison–  Desperate for a return to Jacksonian form, Whigs from around the country rallied around the lifelong soldier and Virginia aristocrat.  Though his personal story hardly resembled Jackson’s, Harrison’s reputation as an Indian fighter was enough to propel him to the Presidency.  At the time, he was the oldest man elected to the office.

Bully Pulpit

Bully Pulpit

4.  Theodore Roosevelt-  Though many historians claim Roosevelt crafted his persona to gain higher office, his pedigree as historian, rancher, and reformer set him apart from other post- Civil War politicians.  The Office was changing and Roosevelt was the perfect candidate for the era.  At the time, he was the youngest man to hold the office.

 

3.  Zachary Taylor-  With a nickname like ‘Old Rough ‘n’ Ready’, Taylor was clearly an unconventional choice in 1848.  Not only had he never held public office, but also claimed(proudly) to have never voted.  We elected a candidate with no experience, no affiliation, and no agenda….sound familiar?

Let us see what's in there

Let us see what’s in there

2.  Andrew Jackson-  On the surface, Jackson appeared the perfect candidate- military service, humble roots, and holding elected office at all levels.  What separated him was his temperament- Jackson was incredulous, uncouth, and violent.  A man too often consumed by his passions and pride, Jackson’s judgement was often affected by these detriments.  His brand of raucous populism forever changed electoral politics.

 

1.  Donald Trump-  Frustratingly unprincipled, irretrievably vulgar, and perilously ignorant,  Trump stands as the greatest gamble the American voters have ever taken.  The political elite controlling our government so abused the voters’ trust, Trump became their last resort.  Harnessing a dangerous breed of populism, Trump proved an effective demagogue on the campaign trail- and fear has swept him to the Presidency.

Time will tell?

Time will tell?

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A Most Dangerous Man

We have never elected someone as dangerous as Donald Trump? … Thomas Jefferson commenting on the candidacy of Andrew Jackson in 1824.  Sound familiar?

He is dangerous

He is dangerous

“I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President.  He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place.  He has had very little respect for laws and constitutions, and is, in fact, an able military chief.  His passions are terrible.  When I was President of the Senate, he was Senator; and he could never speak on account of the rashness of his feelings.  I have seen him attempt it repeatedly, and as often choke with rage.  His passions are, no doubt, cooler now; he has been much tried since I knew him, but he is a dangerous man.”   Thomas Jefferson

 

He is ignorant, passionate, hypocritical, corrupt and easily swayed by the basest men who surround him
Henry Clay

 

 

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False Equivalence

Andrew Jackson was furious with the results of the election of 1824… but never doubted American democracy or the electoral process- he blamed his opponents.  Jackson accepted the outcome and promised to right the wrong in 1828.  Trump threatens litigation and possibly violence in his disregard for our process.

There can be only one Great Orator

There can be only one Great Orator

Clay and Calhoun were thorns in Jackson’s side… and so-called enemies of the “common man.”  Jackson stood against his mortal enemy Clay in the election of 1832 and Calhoun resigned as his Vice President the same year.  Neither man was arrested or charged with any alleged crimes.  Old Hickory waited until the inauguration of Martin Van Buren before finally expressing disgust with his long-time rivals.  Trump threatened to arrest and prosecute his opponent before the election.

Hard to find sizzle in Trump Steaks

Hard to find sizzle in Trump Steaks

There is no comparison between Trump and Jackson… for his many faults, Jackson was a war hero, public servant, and self-made man.  Trump is nothing more than a womanizing, racially divisive demagogue.

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