On the political compass, I am located in the middle of the bottom left quadrant. Yes, I lean in the same political direction as the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Jesus, and Ralph Nader. For those who do not know, it means that I stand as a Libertarian on the left.
My political interests started when I learned of Andrew Jackson and the early beginnings of the Democratic and Republican parties. Setting aside Jackson’s tarnished record, i.e. the Trail of Tears, he seemed like a hero to me, because Jackson’s position was that all American citizens should have a life of liberty and happiness.
Jackson emerged as President when America was young and still building its economy. Wealth was becoming more concentrated in the hands of a few during this time and Jackson, a self-made man, was a champion for the small business, the farmer, and the tradesman. During Jackson’s rise to power, many citizens were losing wealth and social standing to the elite, their corporations, and their banks. Jackson’s Presidential platform was genuine as he detested the rise of corporations and embraced the ordinary citizen who was struggling to achieve wealth—hence, his Presidency during this time.
After the Constitution was adopted, Americans were faced with two different ideas of their economic future. One, supported by Thomas Jefferson, was geared to secure the economy based on independent farmers and businesses. The other, supported by Alexander Hamilton, was based on an industrial economy supported by the elite. (Be suspicious!)
The Constitution gave no direction or grounds over any economic vision, which became a problem for Jackson during his presidency. By 1829, when Jackson took office, it seemed that Hamilton's idea of elite-controlled companies and banks might win the battle over the economy’s mode of operation. The corporations were shifting power and wealth away from the people altogether and into the hands of the few who were wealthy. The economic greed appeared to be the anti-thesis to our very own Declaration of Independence and Jackson was not going to let this continue easily.
Eventually, the elite were taking advantage of the poor who had become poor because the elite held a huge concentration of America’s wealth. Tradesman and farmers found that corporations were hiring women and children at extremely low wages to produce their products. Adding more insult, these corporations were snuffing out small businesses.
Jackson felt that the banks and corporations abused their unregulated power over the nation's economy. He recognized that corporations and banks jeopardized the political rights and influence of the common citizen. Jackson noted that unless an American succeeded in big business, they risked losing control over their country.
Jackson also hated that the corporations and banks manipulated paper money to their advantage—furthering the average citizen into poverty, which in turn, gave the corporations more power over the citizens. To Jackson, paper money was the tool of evil that bankers used to squeeze farmers and workers out of their wealth and enslave them to create even more wealth for the elite. It was a self-contained system of slavery and greed, which was designed to make the rich even richer.
During Jackson’s time, America had been an independent country for less than a century—everything America stood for was still fresh in the minds of its citizens. As the Declaration of Independence states:
“ … all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Jackson saw that the elite, their corporations, and their banks were stripping the American people of their freedoms, their happiness, and their ability to pursue happiness. Jackson stood against the elitists throughout his entire service as President. In Jackson’s farewell address, he stated:
"...unless you become more watchful...and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given away and the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.” —Andrew Jackson, 1837
Of course, Jackson had opponents—the Whig Party.
The Whig Party was created and backed by the elitists and their corporations in opposition to Jackson’s democracy. After Jackson’s service in office, the Whig Party was disbanded when members of the Whig Party wanted to expand slavery into the territories. This did not settle well with all of the members and as a result, a small anti-slavery faction of the Party prevented the Party’s incumbent to lose the presidential nomination. This was an upsetting split within the Party and thereafter most of the Party leaders quit.
Much of the northern voter base of the disbanded Whig Party joined the new Republican Party, which emerged in 1854 out of the need to stop the Kansas-Nebraska Act that proposed the extension of slavery. Though the Republican cause seemed noble, they were staunch supporters of an industrial-corporate ran economy in the Kansas-Nebraska territory—an economic standing influenced by former members of the Whig Party. Concisely, the corporation backed Whig Party was now the corporation backed Republican Party.
Ever since Jackson’s Presidency, the story has been the same. The Republicans support the elite, their corporations, and their banks—the Democrats support the middle and lower classes that have been forced to support the elite, the corporations, and the banks.
Whom should the middle and lower classes support?
The Republican Party has always held on tightly to the elitist and corporate ideas of the economy in the Unites States. This should come as no surprise, because the party and most of its members are the elitists or they are compensated by the elitists. In return, these elitists spend a lot of money and time (which is made off the backbone of the citizens) manipulating American citizens into buying their agenda, which rarely serves any justice for the average American.
Jackson was feared by the elite and those who held high-ranking positions in corporations and banks, because he stood-up for the middle and lower classes. Jackson observed the elite sucking the wealth out of America and he wanted nothing more than to return that wealth back to the people.
Though Jackson stands as a great political image, he is not as popular as other historical figures in America. Part of this might be due to his actions concerning Native Americans, which left a memory of him as a racist instead of a man for the people. Nevertheless, he was a product of his times—and he still stands as the champion for democratic action. During Jackson’s reign, his supporters created the Democratic Party to assure that the will of the people was heard when Jackson was gone.
Andrew Jackson is why I lean toward the Democratic Party. I feel that all Americans should lean toward the Democratic Party, because most all of us serve as this country’s backbone.
Stop listening to the pundits, the corporate backed advertisements, and the “news” networks. Look everything up yourself! Humans inherently know what is right and wrong—these days, however, it is becoming harder to see the truth as we are constantly bombarded with crafted information.
~ John Debar ~
1) I am known to vote Republican every now and then. I am a fan of a few Independents. I do not vote blindly.
2) I feel that all Native American tribes suffered from the ignorance of my ancestors. I feel guilt for what my ancestors did to the great people of this land, and for that, I am sorry.