Andrew Jackson is no longer welcome on the face of the $20 dollar bill.
The news broke on Wednesday that the seventh president was no longer worthy of having that esteemed honor — he would instead be relegated to the back of the currency.
The new face of the currency is going to be Harriet Tubman — the famous Underground Railroad conductor. While there’s a great deal of myth surrounding Tubman — as well-respected historian James McPherson has pointed out — and a little bit of controversy due to her association with the insurrectionist John Brown, it seemed like everyone loved the new choice.
The Left likes Tubman as a choice because she was a black woman who fought against slavery. The Right likes Tubman because she was a “gun-toting Republican” who fought against slavery. Liberals and a number of conservatives also relished the removal of Jackson from the $20 bill, again for differing reasons.
Liberals consider Old Hickory a genocidal maniac. Conservatives consider him a racist Democrat perfectly suited for trying to portray their opponents as the real racists.
However hard conservatives may attempt to paint the replacement of Jackson with Tubman as a victory for Republican values, the real message of the $20 dollar change is that many of the “dead white males” who forged America are no longer acceptable in 21st century America. Additionally, as Pat Buchanan has argued, Tubman is nowhere near as significant to American history as Jackson was.
Before Jackson’s removal was announced, Alexander Hamilton was slated for erasure. The man who created our Treasury was saved entirely due to the incredible success of the hip hop musical “Hamilton,” which has become a cultural milestone for white progressives. So they went for the slave-owning populist who will probably never have a hip hop musical celebrating his career.
While Hamilton may have received a temporary reprieve from the great purge of historical figures, someday there will come a time when he’s no longer acceptable for honoring. Jackson was once adored by liberals, too.
For most of the 20th century, Jackson was seen as the great man of the Democratic Party and was esteemed by many a liberal intellectual. Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the court philosopher of the Kennedy family, wrote a tome celebrating Jackson as the champion of the common man in 1948 and his “Age of Jackson” influenced many Americans, both Democrat and Republican, for years to come.
Now with Ta-Nehisi Coates as the premier left-wing intellectual, you’re more likely to see a 1200-page volume on how Jackson was a forerunner to Adolf Hitler. (RELATED: Meet The Rich Man’s Malcolm X)
Different eras have different values. A progressive fad among one generation could be an example of rank reaction with the next. That’s the way history works, and historians have often understood that their subjects will likely not conform to modern-day norms. The Americans who honored Jackson knew about his flaws, yet they still cherished him anyway.
Jackson, like all historical figures, was a man of his time with all of the era’s virtues and prejudices. Yes, he was responsible for the Trail of Tears, but he was also instrumental in making America a more democratic country. He championed the rights of the common man against the power of the wealthy and privileged. He fought valiantly in the Revolutionary War as a teenager, participating in some of the conflict’s most vicious fighting. He saved New Orleans from a British invasion at the end of the War of 1812. (RELATED: You Can Take Andrew Jackson From Our Cold, Dead Hands)
There’s many noble qualities to Jackson in spite of the aspects which would make him unsavory in our day and age. The general embodies the rugged frontiersman who helped settle America and paved the path for others to follow into the great wilderness of the West. Sure, there were many ugly things about the frontier pioneers which makes them not so romantic. However, life in the Old West was oftentimes savage, and without the violent men who took up the challenge of the wilderness, America would not be the great country it came to be.
Jackson is the face of those frontiersmen — in all their nobility and ugliness.
Unfortunately for Jackson and the men of the frontier, today’s guardians of truth view them as disgusting bigots who should be banished to the dustbin of history. Pretty much every dead white male America currently honors is an embarrassment to the Left. The reasons liberals give for taking Jackson off the 20 — slave-owner, archaic racial views — could also be applied to Thomas Jefferson and nearly every other Founding Father.
So are we going to take down the Jefferson Memorial and replace it with a shrine to Cesar Chavez?
In the place of these unsavory dead white men, the liberal elite scrounges to find minorities and women to satisfy our contemporary cult of diversity. Accomplishments and historical significance don’t matter — liberals just need a face to uphold identity politics and look politically correct. And that’s ultimately the motivation for replacing Jackson with Tubman.
In one of his last books, the liberal author of “The Age of Jackson” lamented the rise of multiculturalism and how it is leading to the “disuniting of America.” Little did Arthur Schlesinger know this harmful trend would one day come for his beloved hero Andrew Jackson.