I once had a professor who owned a cat who pissed in her husband’s water regularly. This cat assaulted the local dog, and laid claim to an entire room of her house that no one could go in. This cat was named Andrew Jackson. This was an extremely fitting name for that cat.
For too long, Andrew Jackson and his impressive level of shitbaggery have flown semi-below the radar of pop culture, but now his time is coming. According to Jack Lew, Treasure Secretary, the long-anticipated plan to put a woman on the $10 bill is getting a shake up. Instead of kicking Alexander Hamilton off of his bill, it looks like Jackson might be getting the boot in favor of a currently unannounced woman of color.
There are many reasons why this is a smart move—partially because Hamilton, who’s experiencing a surge in popularity right now thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda, deserves his hard earned spot—but mostly because Andrew Jackson distinguished himself as one of the larger douchecanoes to ever hold an office famously populated by world class douchecanoes.
The gild has been wearing off of Jackson’s lily for awhile now, but for a very long time he enjoyed an inexplicable level of popularity. He was considered the “people’s president,” and has over 50 towns, counties, and monuments named after him. And yet, the man’s default setting was stuck at “rage,” which doesn’t necessarily make for the best executive decisions.
He Caused A Massive Recession
Hilariously, the man who fronts the most commonly used bill in America notoriously hated and distrusted paper money. Jackson believed in having currency backed by gold or silver, and started the “Bank Wars” in his attempt to cripple the Second Bank of The United States. While not an official government body, the Second Bank acted as a regulatory facility, due to the fact that the Federal Reserves were deposited there. As president, Jackson cut the federal deposits, thus disseminating federal money throughout the country. He distrusted the fragility of paper money, and the ease with which it could prop up corporations, which he famously warned the nation about in his farewell address. While his economic policies don’t necessarily sound like a bad thing, his actions actuality led to rampant inflation, the Panic of 1837, and a five-year depression.
He Held A Shit Ton Of Grudges
You ain’t never seen a bitch who don’t forgive like Andrew Jackson. During his first run for president, despite winning the popular vote, no candidate won the electoral college, and as a resident the presidency was awarded to John Quincy Adams. After winning his subsequent elections, Jackson set about waging political war against what he considered the “special privilege” of previous presidents and politicians, and cleared house in the Federal Government. He also attempted to do away with the electoral college, so that the presidency would be determined exclusively by popular vote.
Jackson once told a man who insulted his wife that he would “follow him over land and sea” and kill him. He did. Also, let’s not forget that the man literally lived his life with two bullets planted in him from his two separate duels where people failed to kill him, which understandably made him pissy 24/7. He also was the first president to be the target of an assassination attempt. Normally I don’t like to blame the victim, but there comes a point with Andrew Jackson where you have to wonder why so many people wanted him dead.
He Was A Millionaire Who Pretended To Be An “Everyman”
Remember how Jackson’s ruling emotion was rage? Well, he used his natural rage to pump up the anger of the recently expanded voting class, which—for one of the first times in American history—had grown to almost universally include white men, regardless of economic status or land ownership. Fresh off of winning the vote, these men chafed at what they felt was a ruling political class that didn’t accurately reflect their circumstances and needs. I wonder what that would be like.
Jackson, despite being one of the wealthiest men in Tennessee, who had served as a Representative, Senator, and Tennessee Supreme Court justice, and who owned a cotton plantation (and over 300 slaves), came from humble beginnings. Using his poor roots and popular war record, Jackson appealed to the working everyman, fueling their anger and resentment, and channeling it into votes. Let’s not stop to consider a modern comparison in the 2016 election.
He Committed Ethnic Cleansing
Let’s be open: Our country has never had a particularly shining record when it comes to Native American relations. But almost no president did more to irreparably damage that relationship than Andrew Jackson and his brutal Cherokee Trail of Tears. Jackson’s “Indian Removal” of Cherokee Native Americans from Georgia and parts of the South is one of the most infamous acts of genocide committed on American soil—one which Jackson undertook using executive privilege. Despite a Supreme Court decision ruling that Georgia had no jurisdiction over Native tribes or a right to seize to Cherokee lands, Jackson chose to sent federal troops to Georgia in order to facilitate the removal, killing thousands in the progress. But unconstitutional ethnic atrocities aren’t a big deal, right?