Robert Merry describes The cheap currency of judging historical figures by today’s standards.
New York Times columnist Gail Collins is on a tear. Her sense of civic rectitude oozes from her prose. Her characteristic breezy haughtiness is on full display. The moral imperative that has caught her fancy and led to two columns in as many months: Getting that angular-faced Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replacing him with a woman, preferably an African-American or American Indian.
One might wonder why, in a world beset by ISIS, rampaging debt, growing inequality and venal soccer officials, anyone would even care whose faces grace the U.S. currency, whether it be Ms. Collins or myself.
But the currency of any nation reflects its heritage, and the heritage of any nation deserves respect. Indeed, a nation that attacks its own heritage with excessive abandon is likely heading for decline. And the American heritage is under assault these days from many quarters.
So, sure, Ms. Collins is free to malign Jackson in her simplistic way and bring forth any number of historical women, however obscure, whose money visage would tickle her feminist sensibilities and Gloria Steinem‘s. But she ought to step back sufficiently to give an honest portrayal of the man she wants off the twenty. Her country’s heritage is worthy of at least that.
A foolish idea backed by ignorance seems to be in vogue. Whether the face on a twenty dollar bill or the trashing of the police while watching the crime rates skyrocket, it does seem the fools rush in. The consequences are often tragic.