Violence and Andrew Jackson
I have posted at Huffington Post a quick overview of the longstanding tradition of violence among our political leaders. Indeed, our leaders have included some bloody and short-tempered folks, from Burton Gwinnett in 1777 to Strom Thurmond in 1964.
I decided to leave out our most violent national leader, Andrew Jackson. Sure, Jackson did kill a man in a duel, Charles Dickinson, but it was not over a political disagreement. And he also engaged in a shootout with Thomas Hart Benton,and his brother, but that also was not really a political contretemps.
And heaven knows how many soldiers, Indians, and others died as a result of Jackson’s military career, but that’s organized and sanctioned killing — also not the subject of the blog post.
Read Jackson’s Wikipedia page and marvel that this violent, cruel, homicidal maniac is on the U.S. twenty dollar bill. What must it have been like to have been an aide to this man, who was willing to kill anyone who opposed him, and frequently did just that? When you read that a presidential candidate lacks the temperament to be president, consider that The United States once had a chief executive whose chronic anger may have rendered him criminally insane.