Jackson has earned his place on U.S. currency
The Crittenden Press
A move is afoot to give President Andrew Jackson the boot, and the impeachment proceedings are already under way.
Earlier this month, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen introduced legislation on Capitol Hill to put a woman’s face on the $20 bill, replacing the image of our seventh president.
Shaheen is carrying the torch for the group Women on 20s, which has spearheaded the nationwide effort to oust President Jackson. W20’s mission also has support from our current president.
You may have seen in the media the mock bills with Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks or Harriet Tubman replacing Jackson’s mug on the dub. That’s because of the 15 names suggested by W20 in their online poll, those three were the frontrunners.
Certainly, all three deserve their respected places in American history… just not in place of Old Hickory.
W20 says Jackson is a natural for replacement. First, the bill is ready for a redesign since it’s been about a dozen years since it was last changed, and the group wants a softer face on the 20 in 2020 to mark the centennial of women gaining the right to vote.
W20 also reminds us that Jackson hated paper currency.
Then, they get personal and claim he was a scoundrel for owning slaves on his Tennessee plantation. And most notably, they point to the fact that he is responsible for the Indian Removal Act of 1830 that led to Native American tribes being forced from their homes in the Southeast to relocate to Oklahoma Territory.
All are true, recorded by history. But the liberal advocacy groups pushing for Jackson’s ouster from our money have not been completely forthcoming.
To begin with, Jackson is hardly the lone slave owner among the men who grace our currency. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ulysses Grant are also guilty. Non-presidential slave owners on our money include Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton.
And while Jackson will forever be linked with perhaps the most notorious presidential act against Native Americans, history also claims Washington, Jefferson and even Abraham Lincoln ran afoul of Native Americans in both policy and actions that resulted in the deaths of many natives.
Further sullying our currency, Franklin was also said to be a womanizer. Jefferson infamously had a tryst with a 14-year-old slave. And several other faces on our money had unscrupulous liaisons – Hamilton and presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy.
In following W20’s primary logic for removing Jackson from the face of money, perhaps no man is fit for duty.
Jackson was hardly the Indian-hater, mass murderer or architect of genocide against Native Americans some liberal advocacy groups might have you believe.
A deeper look at history tells us the Indian Removal Act is much more complex than its unfortunate result. And Jackson’s successor, Martin Van Buren, was actually responsible for the brutal removal of 15,000 Cherokee along what would become known as the Trail of Tears, where 4,000 Native Americans lost their lives.
Groups like W20 also won’t tell you that Jackson adopted an orphaned Native American boy as his own son.
For his faults, Jackson is still judged by history as one of our best presidents. In fact, the American Political Science Association has rated him as our ninth greatest president.
He was a successful general. He was the father of the Democratic Party and a champion of the common man.
Born into poverty and calling Tennessee home, he was the first commander-in-chief not of Virginia and Massachusetts aristocracy, earning him the title of the first “citizen president.”
And as the seeds of civil war were being sewn, he was a strong Unionist whose philosophy, words and actions were leaned heavily upon by Lincoln.
The fact alone that Jackson remains the only president to have erased the national debt while in office should earn him a permanent place on our currency.
Perhaps the question is not whether a woman deserves to appear on our paper currency, but whether one of our greatest leaders deserves to be stricken from it.
Darts and Laurels
A laurel to the annual “Father-Daughter Dance” — great bonding and wonderful memories!
A dart to escaping custody — especially from a rehab institution!
A laurel to the JCHS Cheerleaders for their first place win in state competition!
A dart to breaking into automobiles — whether for mischief or mayhem.
A laurel to the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway and its 10th year of celebrating local heritage!
Vacation in your backyard
With the summer travel season coming up, plans are being made to travel to Carolina beaches, Florida sun, and airports around the globe. But there are fun and inexpensive vacations to be had right in our own back yards.
Kentucky is filled with National Natural landmarks and National Historic places. From Natural Bridge to the Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, there’s so much to do close to home.
We have 17 State Parks to take advantage of, filled with camping, fishing, boating, and trail-walking opportunities. Kentucky even has the Family Adventure Quest program, where, for a small fee, your family gets a booklet of quests, a hat, and a kite. The more quests your team completes, the more discounts you get to park activities. Check out www.parks.ky.gov or the KY State Parks Pocket Ranger app to find out more.
If you want to take a nice, long drive, you can head to Lost River Cave in Bowling Green. You can see the Jesse James Spring and find Civil War history. And, most importantly, you can ride on an underground river into a cave. A river. Underground. In a cave. How cool is that?
If you want to stay in Johnson County, find out what there is to do on the Paintsville Tourism events calendar at www.visitpaintsvilleky.com/events. Have you been to the US 23 Country Music Highway Museum yet? How about the Mountain HomePlace? What about the Van Lear Coal Miners’ Museum? Made it to the Dawkins Rail Trail? If you wanted, you could have a very busy stay-cation.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive day out and you have a GPS capable device, try Geocaching. Geocaching is a free outdoor adventure hunt to find “caches,” or waterproof containers that have a logbook and a maybe a few little treasures that fellow players contribute to the cache. There are plenty to hunt for right here in Johnson County. You can check out www.geocaching.com or the Geocaching app for more information.
So before you make a long, expensive trek out of state, see what there is to do right in your own backyard. Save some money, have a good time, and find out why we can all be proud to be Kentuckians.
Darts and Laurels
A laurel to “Growing Up Safe” and the work being done to protect children in our region — we applaud each of you!
A dart to severe weather that causes property damage and destruction — such huge ‘pellets’ of hail!
A laurel to another successful Easter Egg Hunt at the Mountain HomePlace! Thank you, Food City!
A dart to inappropriate relationships between students and teachers. Adults need to be adults.
A laurel to the JCSO and the PPD for good work busting theft rings and meth operations — honest citizens depend on you!
States aren’t buying what the EPA is selling
By Harry Alford
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants have been hotly contested since proposed last June. While the EPA continues its campaign to paint the proposal as a win for consumers, a number of states and federal lawmakers have been quick to unveil what the proposal truly is: a ticking time bomb.
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan will have a domino effect leading to disaster. Once set forth in motion, the effects will be swift and felt by all. These standards — issued at the federal level — fail to consider the cost impacts that will burden state economies, and worse, underserved communities. The proposal will essentially force an overreliance on costly, less-reliable alternatives that will cause electricity rates to go through the roof, placing a heavy toll on Americans’, and particularly minorities’, wallets.
In fact, analysis released by Energy Ventures Analysis last November revealed just how severely the proposal will impact household budgets. According to the study, electricity costs could increase nearly $300 billion in 2020 while the average household’s electricity and natural gas bills would grow by a whopping $680 annually. To put that in perspective, that’s a 35 percent increase to consumers.
African-American business owners simply cannot withstand that kind of hit to their bottom line. Faced with their energy costs doubling, and perhaps even tripling, many will be forced to close up shop. Similar to these businesses, families across the country will fail to meet these rising costs and be forced to resort to drastic measures, including energy rationing and living without other basic necessities.
As these realities hit home, it’s hardly a surprise that opposition is intensifying.
Since proposed last year, officials representing more than half of the country — 28 states total — have called on the EPA to withdraw its Clean Power Plan. Though the Obama administration views these actions as “red tape,” these officials are validated in their actions and have cited credible concerns ranging from reliability threats and cost implications to the EPA’s lack of legal authority to even impose the standards.
Federal lawmakers have also been quick to voice the serious dangers associated with the proposal.
In March, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took action to protect states from the administration’s harmful energy policy by issuing a letter to the National Governors Association outlining his concerns. McConnell’s letter detailed the burdensome and costly effects of the illegal proposal while stressing that even if enacted, the plan will have little — if any — impactful effect on mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA’s refusal to listen to the growing opposition only further risks putting our economy in a downward spiral. I urge states, therefore, that have not yet openly opposed the EPA’s illegal mandate to stand up and join the growing list of lawmakers who are already standing up to this outlandish overreach.
- Alford is co-founder, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.