from Jesse's Crossroads Cafe:
"If at times his [Andrew Jackson's] passionate devotion to this cause of the average citizen lent an amazing zeal to his thoughts, to his speech and to his actions, the people loved him for it the more. They realized the intensity of the attacks made by his enemies, by those who, thrust from power and position, pursued him with relentless hatred. The beneficiaries of the abuses to which he put an end pursued him with all the violence that political passions can generate. But the people of his day were not deceived. They loved him for the enemies he had made.
Backed not only by his party but by thousands who had belonged to other parties or belonged to no party at all, Andrew Jackson was compelled to fight every inch of the way for the ideals and the policies of the Democratic Republic which was his ideal.
An overwhelming proportion of the material power of the Nation was arrayed against him. The great media for the dissemination of information and the molding of public opinion fought him. Haughty and sterile intellectualism opposed him. Musty reaction disapproved him. Hollow and outworn traditionalism shook a trembling finger at him. It seemed sometimes that all were against him—all but the people of the United States.
Because history so often repeats itself, let me analyze further. Andrew Jackson stands out in the century and a half of our independent history not merely because he was two-fisted, not merely because he fought for the people's rights, but because, through his career, he did as much as any man in our history to increase, on the part of the voters, knowledge of public problems and an interest in their solution. Following the fundamentals of Jefferson, he adhered to the broad philosophy that decisions made by the average of the voters would be more greatly enduring for, and helpful to, the Nation than decisions made by small segments of the electorate representing small or special classes endowed with great advantages of social or economic power.
He, like Jefferson, faced with the grave difficulty of disseminating facts to the electorate, to the voters as a whole, was compelled to combat epithets, generalities, misrepresentation and the suppression of facts by the process of asking his supporters, and indeed all citizens, to constitute themselves informal committees for the purpose of obtaining the facts and of spreading them abroad among their friends, their associates and their fellow workers."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jackson Day Dinner Address, Washington, D.C.
January 8, 1936
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