It started with a hatred of crony capitalism.
- Michael Hogue
Andrew Jackson, the seventh president, doesn’t get much respect these days. The Obama administration last year announced unceremoniously that the Treasury Department would rip his visage from the face of the $20 bill, where it has resided since 1928. A New York Times writer, in reporting that action, referred to him as “a white man known as much for his persecution of Native Americans as for his war heroics and his advocacy for the common man.” A recent C-SPAN poll of historians on presidential performance had Jackson ranked at No. 18, a five-notch drop since a previous C-SPAN poll just a few years ago. Indeed, when the first such poll of academics was published in Life magazine in 1948, Old Hickory ranked up there at No. 6, and a 1996 poll had him at No. 5. He was considered one of the greats or at least near-greats. But no more. Such are the vagaries of presidential reputation in an era of political correctness.
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