Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Doppelgänger, Revealed

“One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the upcoming Donald Trump administration is how the man will govern. There are many presidential styles, including those of micromanaging types like Jimmy Carter, big-picture sorts like Ronald Reagan, the organized disciplined approach of Barack Obama, and the chaotic, brainstorming ways of Bill Clinton.” This was a statement made in the influential website Politico.

“The question everyone in Washington—in America—is asking today is: How will he govern? Many of the people around the President-elect are asking themselves the same thing. Donald Trump will take office as one of the most-well known president-elects in the nation’s history, but what is less known is what he will do there.” This is a similar inquiry from Time magazine.

Here is another comment from NBC News: “ We know a lot about how Donald J. Trump campaigns. But we know much less about how he will govern. Trump has shifted positions on a wide range of issues before, after, and during his campaign, making it difficult to know for certain where he will land now that he has captured the White House.”

What is puzzling is the fact that the mysteriously absent answer to this question, despite being in such demand, was actually posted in what one might think should have been a bomb-shell disclosure just this past January. However, despite this revelation, I can find no evidence the main stream media––newspapers, magazines, radio, TV––has referred to this evidence.

Exclusory You

As a result, by divulging what follows, you, the reader will apparently be only one of an exclusive group of 50,000 others privy to how Trump will govern. You may ask how a number like 50,000 can be exclusive. Consider this: In the 2016 election, over 136 million votes were cast. Assumedly, most, if not all of those voters would be interested in the new President’s governing style. Therefor, 50,000 is an insignificant percentage compared to the total number of voters, projecting you into the privileged few.

From where did the 50,000 number come? That is the circulation of the newspaper that provided the answer to the president’s governance style. Now before you draw any conclusions abut the ability for a newspaper of this size to have valid information not available to its much larger counterparts, here is how the paper was viewed: “The weekly had outsize influence despite its limited circulation of 50,000: elected leaders, Wall Street titans, media moguls, East Side socialites and others who were part of the Manhattan elite cared deeply about its contents each week.”

In 2006 the paper was sold for 10 million dollars, and its buyer has become the unseen—perhaps the better term would be the “behind the scenes”––validator of the information below; more on that later. Here is exactly what the paper published on January 9th of this year:

“A real-estate-rich, thin-skinned, temperamental, yet charismatic celebrity who runs a tell-it-like-it-is political campaign attacking corrupt elites and promising a better life for the common man is accused of being unfit to serve, but after slogging through a mud-slinging campaign, complicated by sex scandals and an electoral college kerfuffle, he shocks the establishment and thrills his supporters by thrashing his more-experienced opponent and winning the ultimate prize—the highest office in the land.

“Introducing the President of the United States. . . Andrew Jackson?”

It then elaborates: “A handful of historians (as well as our current President-elect’s alt-right confidant Steve Bannon) have pointed out the eerie parallels between Andrew Jackson and Donald J. Trump. If we want to know how our 45th POTUS-to-be will govern, instead of analyzing every late-night tweet and Trump Tower visitation, we invite you to climb with us into a time machine and go back nearly 200 years to explore the tumultuous and disruptive Presidency of Trump’s 19th Century doppelgänger, Andrew Jackson.” (Note that the newspaper used the same cognomen, Doppelgänger I had chosen for the headline above. The word is defined as, “a person physically or behaviorally who resembles another person.”)

When you consider that proclamation, if not stating the obvious outright, it certainly strongly implies that Donald Trump will govern in a similar manner to Andrew Jackson. Acknowledging the Doppelganger angle, it adds to the Jackson/Trump parallelism by citing five promises that Jackson made to his followers (that he acted upon and kept), promises quite consonant with commitments that President Trump has made.

Promise Number One: Drain the Swamp.

“Jackson promised to eliminate corruption. He believed government workers who stayed too long in office became double-dealing profiteers. His solution: force government workers to rotate in. . . and then out…of office. As President, Jackson fired 10 percent of government workers for incompetence. No one was surprised that it was his opponents’ supporters who took the heaviest hits, and his own loyalists who were rewarded. It was the dawn of the “spoils system” and the political machine. Patronage became the new system. Business associates, sycophants, friends and relatives of the winning candidate knew they would be repaid for their loyalty with government gigs.

Score: Drain the swamp? Promise—kept. But this promise resulted in a much slimier swamp.”

Promise Number Two: Make America Great Again.

“Our Seventh president also intended to make America great again. But it was to be made great for those he loved—the common man—at the expense of those he hated—the urban elites. When it came to making symbolic gestures for the common man, the farmers, craftsmen and laborers from the hinterlands, Jackson made good on his word. From throwing open the White House to the rabble at his post-inauguration party (panic ensued where Jackson jumped out of a window to escape), to antagonizing the privileged class at every opportunity, Jackson showed the regular hardworking folk, I’m on your side. And in turn, they felt they had a champion in the White House.

However Jackson championed the common man, it was the white common man he was looking out for. African-Americans didn’t fare so well under Jackson, a slave master and slave dealer.

Score: Make America great for the common man? Promise—kept. That is, if you were white.”

Promise Number Three: Get the federal government off the backs of the people to get the economy going.

“Jackson, who considered the Second Bank of the United States a corrupt, elitist institution, strangled it in a fit of pique. Jackson then snagged the funds from the national coffers and delivered them to the state banks. Boom is exactly what the economy did. America was rocking.”

Since the boom was spiraling out of control, Jackson decided to cool things down by decreeing that “land speculators could no longer buy land with paper money—only with silver or gold. Those who bought land at inflated prices couldn’t get the silver or gold to pay off their loan. This resulted in the greatest financial panic ever to hit the United States.” Luckily for Jackson his successor was the fall guy. He was dubbed “Martin Van Ruin,” in the press and the loser by a landslide after one-term in office.

Score: Throw off the federal government to grow the economy? Promise—kept. That is, until the economy tanked.”

Promise Number Four: Get the people we don’t want out of America.

Andrew Jackson never promised to build a wall to keep certain types of people outside of the country. But it was no secret that there were certain types of people inside the country he wanted to kick out: Native Americans. This policy of ethnic-cleansing was called “Indian Removal.” Whenever and wherever white people hungered for Native American lands, whether for cotton in Alabama, or gold in Georgia, Jackson brutally exploited every tactic—bribery, threats, empty promises, coercion, inaction and even willful disregard of the Supreme Court—to drive the Native Americans out of United States proper and across to the other side of the Mississippi River.

Score: Removal of the Indians? Promise—kept. But at a terrible human cost. Jackson’s ruthless policy of Indian Removal—from the six-year Cherokee Trail of Tears to other mass expulsions—destroyed forever the culture, livelihoods and populations of many tribes.

Promise Number Five: Build a movement that will last.

Jackson, a political genius, mobilized the regular people to win the Presidency, not once, but twice. In the process, he reinvented how America was governed and how the country saw itself. How did he do it? He promoted a hero-cult and was the first candidate to brand himself. [Sound familiar?] Affectionately known as “Old Hickory,” for his toughness and resolve on the battlefield, the former major general sold his image to voters with parades, bands, slogans and campaign songs, as well with celebrity-styled merchandise, including hickory canes and hats (yes, hats!) covered in hickory leaves.

But Jackson and his allies also built something else never seen before: A grassroots movement of people in every county, ward and precinct in the country who joined together to work for the cause. These loyal Jackson supporters—ranging from regular folk to political heavy hitters—self-organized to fundraise, proselytize, spread propaganda, and organize events. This movement was actually the first modern political party, an organization devoted to advocating for causes and winning elections.

Score: Build a movement? Promise—kept. Jackson’s movement, by the way, not only still exists today, but is the world’s oldest active political party. Although its governing philosophy has evolved over time, you may have heard of it, it’s called the Democratic Party.

“So what can the 7th POTUS’s reign tell us about the upcoming 45th’s? No matter how radical Jackson’s promises, he did keep most of them. Which is good news if you like Donald Trump’s ideas of what America should be…but terrifying if you don’t.”

There is a quadruple kicker here that muddies up this story, but not the substance of the article. In 2007 the New York Observer was purchased for 10 million dollars by none other than Jared Kushner, (who appointed himself publisher). He is Donald Trump’s son-in-law. In November 2016 the print edition of the newspaper was shut down and was transformed into a web-site. The above article was published on the web-site on January 9th the same day that Jared Kushner sold his ownership of the Observer to his family trust. One day later, Kushner was officially appointed as Donald Trump’s Senior Advisor.

If we assume that the above information is accurate, one mystery, Trump’s governing style seems to have been resolved; it seems that his every move from the very beginning of his administration is representative of what he promised during his campaign–– dramatic, disruptive change, exactly like what Andrew Jackson initiated. The seeds of this strategy will soon be blossoming and we will learn whether the results justified the upheaval.


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