Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rachel Jackson, wife of Andrew Jackson**

Just the other day, I stated here that I think it's disingenuous to constantly bemoan the state of political affairs between the two parties. I'm a leftist, basically, and I find the "middle of the road" desire for reasoned, temperate individuals to debate serious issues and find commonality by virtue of one's citizenship to be a farce, to tell you the truth. I'm not going to find common ground with anyone who believes the country should be run like a corporation, or that women shouldn't have the right to make choices about their fertility. I'm not going to shake the hand of anyone who believes homosexuality is evil or even that one must love the sinner and not the sin. I'm not sure I can be friends with someone who believes government is the root of all evil and we should be living like that grotesque character in Ayn Rand's libertarian The Fountainhead. If you're certain that God founded the United States of America and because of that, we're the greatest nation on earth, well, then, I'm going to fight you -- in words, that is, not with the mighty military or drones, but the only ability I have, as Faulkner said,  in that tiny, inexhaustible voice. That's what I'm grateful for as an American citizen -- that I can fight like that, my rights assured -- at least for now.

The president, any president, should go negative early, often, and without apology if the goal is victory. The notion that negative campaigning is some toxic modern aberration in American democracy is bogus. No campaign may ever top the Andrew Jackson–John Quincy Adams race of 1828, in which Jackson was accused of murder, drunkenness, cockfighting, slave-trading, and, most delicious of all, cannibalism. His wife and his mother, for good measure, were branded a bigamist and a whore, respectively. (Jackson won nonetheless.)  

Frank Rich, Nuke 'Em, in New York Magazine

** During the 1828 campaign for the Presidency, the attacks aimed at Rachel became even more vicious than before. Jackson successfully shielded her from all assaults until after his election, when she traveled alone to Nashville for a shopping trip in December of 1828. There she discovered a pamphlet brutally attacking her morals and ethics. She was so distressed by the accusations that she suffered a severe heart attack. Several days of illness later, she had another heart attack, which killed her. Read more about President Jackson's beloved Rachel here.


  1. I could not have stated my views nearly as well as you did. Thanks!


  2. While I agree that at this point it's unlikely that the two parties can find some legitimate commonality, I do bemoan the mean-spirited nastiness irresponsibly spewed from both sides of the fence. I'm just tired of listening to meanness. And while I would personally find it impossible to respect someone's idea that homosexuality is evil, I am begrudgingly willing to respect their right to that belief. I guess. Poor old Rachel. I hope Hillary C gathered strength from knowing that one First Lady had it even worse than she did!

  3. Today, as on many days, you are my hero.
    Amen and amen and so it is and that's all there is to it. I'm completely exhausted being polite about the bullshit that people harbor in their souls and the bullshit that is steering our politics.
    There has GOT to be a voice of reason and if we can't be that, then who will? Our voices may be tiny, yes, but dammit, we can be inexhaustible.
    I adore you, Elizabeth.

  4. My, she was lovely though, wasn't she?

    Jackson has always reminded me of Uncle Andrew in the Magician's Nephew: lean, odd of hair, and strange of spirit.

    Regarding your eloquently stated opinion - if I were physically near you right now, I would hug you

  5. Amen, amen and amen.

    And many tiny voices perhaps can make a sea, and a sea a giant wave.

  6. Your strength and conviction are so admirable. Thank you.

  7. As I write, I am sitting with view overlooking the Qualla Boundry, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, so I am mindful of Jackson's crimes against those people. That said, when the revolution comes, I'll serve if you'll be the Public Affairs Officer of our brigade.

  8. How terrible for both Pres. & Mrs. Jackson. Personally, I can't see how political office would ever be worth the journey to get there. I am a romantic/idealist, but not where politics (or rather "public service") is concerned. However, I agree that we are indeed blessed with our freedoms, including the right to free speech, which were dearly bought by the efforts of those who came before us!

  9. Apparently American politics has not changed much in a century.

  10. In the words of Lili Von Shtupp, "I'm tired..."
    Of politicians, politics, and all that goes with them/it.



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