[su_dropcap style=”flat”]N[/su_dropcap]O, I’M NOT referring to that switch that your father may have introduced to your back side when you were a child. I’m talking about Andrew Jackson. What does that have to do with anything? Well, as the saying goes we are doomed to repeat history if we don’t learn from it.
There are two interesting issues regarding the Donald Trump situation. Obviously his comments and positions have resonated with a large number of voters. Boarder control, stagnant incomes for the middle class, government spending out of control, high costs of medical care and higher education, and a dozen other topics that concern many.
The second matter is that his success to date has thrown the Republican party power into a frenzy with no real desirable courses of action available to them, or at least none they consider desirable. One option is to let him win the primary and hope for the best in the general election, and then if he wins hope to control him. Controlling him is not viewed as likely by many. The other is to harpoon him now, or at the convention, and hope that it doesn’t rupture the party.
Now, let us turn the calendar back to 1824. With the Federal Party having imploded a few year before there was only one political party. That being the Democratic-Republicans. There were four presidential candidates that year. Andrew Jackson (Old Hickory), John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford. Jackson was having the same results as Trump is today. He was attracting much support by touching on the public’s hot buttons. He was drawing huge crowds to his rallies. He was also an outsider with no political experience. And, the more mud the other three threw at him the more people flocked to him. When the convention rolled around he held the highest public vote and the highest number of delegates, though not enough for a majority.
So the powers behind the curtain engineered a deal. Henry Clay threw his delegates to John Q. Adams who then held a majority and was elected as our 6th president. For that, Henry Clay was appointed as Secretary of State. Hmm, shades of 2012? Anyway, Jackson yelled foul and his supporters agreed. Adams, though capable, was basically blocked from doing anything for the next four years and in 1828 Jackson was elected by a landslide running as the new Democratic Party candidate.
So, what can we learn from the Andrew Jackson/John Q. Adams events of 1824? Will the power base engineer a deal between the other candidates to “trump Trump” in the primary process? Or, if Trump doesn’t have a majority of delegates at convention time will the party powers harpoon him and support Cruz? If so, what will that say about our election process?