I have cracked open a book titled American Lion, it is a biography of president Andrew Jackson. One theme that keeps resonating with me is that many of the political battles Jackson was involved in were battles that we keep hearing about today. Accusations of infidelity, sloppy mismanagement, arrogance, and many others are things that I always assumed were a part of our current political climate. When looking back at antiquity, everyone seems so proper, calm and collected. The strong Christian influence of the early American republic leaves a sense of justice and love despite party loyalties. This book makes it quite clear that our politicians are not the first to throw mud at their opponents.
But I read this passage, and as I filtered through the pile of junkmail political ads yesterday, it reassured me that the political obstacles and injustices that seem insurmountable today, in fact, are not. And that beyond laws and legislation, America needs to stand proud (and strong) on a moral foundation.
Here are the words that Jackson said that still ring true today: “If at this early period of the experiment of our Republic, men are found base and corrupt enough to barter the rights of the people for proffered office, what may we not expect from the spread of this corruption hereafter.”
And though I’m not really one to inspire others to “get out the vote”, nor was it my intention of writing a post on the duties of Americans to vote, it is clearly our privilege to do so.
As Ben Franklin said before the signing of the Constitution, it might not be the best possible response, it might not be a perfect system, but it is what we have and if we fight to stand behind it then it can truly work for the good of all people.
My purpose for writing this was to remind people that the troubles we face now are not new, but it has turned into a reminder to enjoy your right to vote. And I think I’m okay with that.