Democratic Underground

Jacksonian Democracy
April 4, 2001
by Neuvocat

Not too long ago I took a trip to Nashville and while I originally went to kick up my heels, it turned out to become something of a pilgrimage for me. Some people visit Graceland. I went to the Hermitage.

The Hermitage is the historic landmark that was once the home and now the final resting place of Al Gore's fellow President, Andrew Jackson - the feisty war hero who had come to define much of the character of the Democratic Party. He extended the right to vote to common citizens, paving the way for both the Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements.

Of course the irony of history repeating itself weighed heavily on me when I was there, while reading up on all the political cartoons, commentary, and insights of Jackson's era. John Q. Adams, like George W. Bush, made his way into the seat of the Presidency by way of shady back room dealings out of sight of the public eye.

Jackson would probably find Duhbya every bit as loathsome as he did Adams. Both hail from an upper class society who believe in Republicanism, which essentially maintains that the common citizens, not the politicians, should keeps a hands-off approach to government until election time. Jackson saw Republicanism for what it was: an oligarchy, a form of despotism where the many are ruled by the few.

Many would likely argue that Jackson must be spinning in his grave after seeing the plight of Al Gore, especially since Republicanism seems to have manifested in the Supreme Court rather than in Congress. I however would argue that Jackson should rest easily and take comfort in the silver lining in every cloud.

It is interesting to ponder the outcome of such political turmoil. Had the election run its logical course and some nameless man become President, then the reform-minded Jackson might never have made the political inroads through which our democracy had to pass on the way from ideology to practice.

Gore is a man with exceptional intelligence and gifted in his sensibilities and knows more than anyone ever will the meaning of irony here (and to you freepers reading this article, tell Duhbya that irony isn't what people do to get the wrinkles out of their clothing).

To all Democrats, lets give tribute to the man who gave us our mascot by getting involved. We have a democracy, not an anarchy or an oligarchy. Let's work with our Representatives so that they can work with us (especially with the Primaries looming closer).

Demand that we be heard and always be stubborn in the defense of our virtues that preserve our very liberty. Understand the strength of our values while knowing the weaknesses of the Republicans. Don't fall for that old tired argument that everything is okay and that the politicians can handle everything for us because after all, democracy cannot be held up by the hands of the lazy.

We can be every bit a reformer as President Andrew Jackson himself was.


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