In his 1833 Inauguration Speech, the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, spoke these words, “Finally, it is my most fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our Republic to the present day, that He will so overrule all my intentions and actions and inspire the hearts of my fellow-citizens that we may be preserved from dangers of all kinds and continue forever a united and happy people”.
Last month, on November 8th, Americans went to the polls and selected Donald Trump as their president for the next four years. It was an election like no other before it, as two very different combatants fought a very nasty election battle. Both have contentious backgrounds but Mr. Trump won seemingly because of frustration and anger of the people, who demanded change. Mr. Trump will face an enormous responsibility as this election will perhaps be more significant than any since the Second World War. The Mid-East has become a mini Vietnam, deficits are soaring, the once predictable economic engine is sputtering, debt is stifling, crime and violence are on the upsurge, world opinion is at a low ebb and internal conflict is rampant. Moreover, we learn that fifty million Americans are below the poverty level. This sorry state cannot be pinned on any one president; it has gradually evolved since early in the twentieth century but it has completely got out of hand during the Bush/Obama years.
The President-Elect does not have the experience of Hilary Clinton but he is a skilled entrepreneur and will bring to the office a background of success and obviously strong judgment. Some of his past escapades in business have demonstrated a risk-taking characteristic, but hopefully any such risks he exercises in the presidency will be well-thought out and acted upon only after concert with his advisors. He does not have a military background for it has been suggested that such a background is an advantage, as attested by great presidents like George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Dwight Eisenhower, yet, on the other had, Lincoln and Roosevelt were great wartime leaders and neither came from a military background. It seems to me it will all come down to Mr. Trump’s qualities and character and whether he is guided by his own sense of purpose or by the Lord God Almighty.
The difference between Washington, Jackson and Eisenhower from a pre-presidential standpoint is that they were all in a position to make a difference in the wars in which they found themselves. And it is very possible that Mr. Trump will also face this possibility of war so, it must be asked, “Will he make a difference?” Time will tell. But, although all five of the past presidents mentioned in this article deserve the title of “Great”, I think Americans might like to see Mr. Trump follow the example of the great strategist, Andrew Jackson, particularly considering the control money interests have in the nation and the poverty it creates.
Although Jackson was born in a backwoods settlement in the Carolina’s, he educated himself and became an outstanding lawyer, a man of wealth and a war hero. As a major general in the War of 1812, he defeated the British at New Orleans and instantly became a national hero. Yet, his greatest victory came in his presidency when he overcame the awesome power of the money interests and killed the Second Bank of the United States, a private corporation that was rapidly impoverishing the American people. Sadly, the debt to today’s money interests has also impoverished the nation and hopefully, Mr. Trump may consider Jackson’s strategy for overcoming, which resulted in a debt-free nation by the time he left office.
Let me end by quoting Jackson’s works, spoken over a century and a half ago because they should sound familiar given the present condition of America..
“The time at which I stand before you is full of interest. The eyes of all nations are fixed on our Republic. The event of the existing crisis [debt, etc.] will be decisive in the opinion of mankind of the practicability of our federal system of government. Great is the stake placed in our hands; great is the responsibility which must rest upon the people of the United States. Let us realize the importance of the attitude in which we stand before the world. Let us exercise forbearance and firmness. Let us extricate our country from the dangers which surround it and learn wisdom from the lessons they inculcate.”
As President, Jackson acted as the representative of the common man; he was a man of conviction, truly courageous and committed to the best interests of the nation. Above all, he was guided by the greatest power of all. If Mr. Trump will adopt these qualities and let God show the way, no difficulty will be too great to overcome. Somehow, I think God will lead Mr. Trump and that he will, “Make America great again”. Let’s pray that he does.