By Lowell Ponte, Special for USDR
President Andrew Jackson’s face would be removed from America’s $20 Bill and replaced with a woman’s if legislation introduced in mid-April becomes law.
This measure is by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, the first woman in American history to serve as both a state governor and U.S. Senator. Her aim in re-facing our currency, Shaheen says, is “to point out the significant contributions women have made in U.S. history.”
Women have made enormous contributions on many sides of issues. So which women are to be put on our money – heroines of the right, or of the left? And why is Andrew Jackson – the only President who ever reduced America’s national debt to Zero – targeted to be replaced by a woman?
Senator Shaheen is a longtime comrade of 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose campaign thus far is targeted on female voters via an appeal to elect her as America’s first woman President. Is the real purpose of Shaheen’s legislation to help mobilize women and promote the Clinton campaign?
MONEY AS PROPAGANDA
Since ancient times, rulers have used money as propaganda, usually by putting their own face on a nation’s coins. Old coins would be called in, and new debased coins containing less gold or silver in their metal would typically be struck to honor anniversaries and other events in a ruler’s reign.
The image of a woman, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, today appears on many Commonwealth currencies, coins and stamps around the world. Few object because today the Queen reigns but does not rule or stand for election.
Since the emergence of democracy, by contrast, elected politicians have faced disapproval if they attempt to put their own image on their country’s money to promote themselves. (Nominally-elected dictator Adolf Hitler not only put his face on Nazi Germany’s postage stamps; he also charged Germany’s postal service for using his image, thereby enriching himself.)
Since George Washington said “No” to attempts to put his own portrait on American currency, both tradition and law have come to require that a person be deceased for two years before being so honored.
In a democratic republic like ours, the nation’s money should not be used as advertising, or like a taxpayer-funded campaign button, to promote any particular living politician, dynastic family, ideological cause or current political party.
For this reason, some questioned the 1964 minting of a John F. Kennedy half-dollar – not only because this came less than two years after his 1963 assassination, but also because his two brothers were considering their own runs for the presidency and might benefit politically from their family’s last name on this new American coin.
Few doubt that putting the image of prominent Democrats and Republicans on our money enhances the public image of their political parties and the ideas they represent. We cannot tell the dancer from the dance, or the politician from his or her policies, beliefs and ideology. Our currency has become de facto advertising for giants of the two major political parties.
Republican Abraham Lincoln appears on every $5 bill and penny. The U.S. Mint issued a Dwight David Eisenhower dollar from 1971 until 1978. Other GOP Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant is shown on the $50 bill and William McKinley on the $500 bill.
The Democratic Party evolved out of the Democratic-Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson, who today is seen on the $2 bill and nickel, and his protégé James Madison, found today on the $5,000 bill.
America’s Framers unaffiliated with any of today’s political parties include George Washington, now on the $1 bill and the Quarter; Alexander Hamilton, today on the $10 bill; and Benjamin Franklin, whose wise face graces our $100 bills, also known as “Benjamins.”
Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s profile is seen on our dime. Woodrow Wilson starred on the biggest currency, the $100,000 note that never circulated but during the Great Depression was used to transfer funds among Federal Reserve Banks. Grover Cleveland now appears on the $1,000 bill, having been replaced as the face on the $20 bill in 1928 by Andrew Jackson.
President Jackson on America’s currency has always been controversial. He was both a slave owner and the Chief Executive who forced more than 46,000 Native Americans off their valuable property in the East and onto the brutal “Trail of Tears” to then-desolate Oklahoma.
The Democratic Party was the party of the slave owners, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and Bull Connor, but in recent years the embarrassment of its history of white divide-and-conquer racial politics has prompted many Progressive Democratic clubs to end their traditional annual Jefferson & Jackson dinners.
Jefferson, Washington and Madison were also slave owners, but each of these American giants had other redeeming qualities. Jefferson, for example, tried to end slavery and argued that Native Americans were the equal of Whites in every way.
Senator Shaheen somehow neglected to mention that women have already graced our currency. Many American coins, including the famed Birch Cent, carried idealized images of women symbolizing Liberty.
Since 2007 the U.S. Mint has issued half-ounce gold coins honoring each of America’s First Ladies, a series that perhaps with an eye to a first female President it now calls “First Spouses.”
The Native American guide to Jefferson’s Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific was Shoshone Sacagawea, who is honored on a $1 coin. So, too, was women’s suffrage pioneer Susan B. Anthony until 1981. (Helen Keller appears on the reverse side of the 2003 Alabama Quarter.)
Alas, some of these women also fall short of the ideal of Progressive Political Correctness. Sacagawea was married to a French fur trapper, and his son whom she carries on the $1 coin would later ride with the Mormon Battalion.
Susan B. Anthony in 1872 wrote to her feminist ally Elizabeth Cady Stanton: “I shall work for the Republican party and call on all women to join me…” She was also highly critical of abortion.
The organization that inspired Senator Shaheen’s legislation calls itself “Women on 20s” and has proposed replacing Andrew Jackson with women who are almost all reliable heroines to the left or to left-aligned groups.
Their carefully narrowed list of women to adorn the $20 bill now includes FDR wife and activist Eleanor Roosevelt [see their proposed $20 bill, above], underground railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, civil rights activist Rosa Parks and Cherokee chief Wilma Mankiller. They earlier also proposed radical feminist Betty Friedan, along with four Democratic – but zero Republican – officeholders. Another they proposed for the $20 bill was Margaret Sanger, an abortion advocate and pioneer of Planned Parenthood who acknowledged that she intended to reduce America’s African-American population.
As noted earlier, Great Britain has long featured Queen Elizabeth II on its currency. The Bank of England plans in 2016 to replace the image of social reformer Elizabeth Fry with that of Sir Winston Churchill on its £5 note, and in 2017 to put the face of novelist Jane Austen on its £10 note. The Austen choice is particularly interesting because she will replace the face of evolutionary scientist Charles Darwin, a hero to many environmentalists and atheists.
The idea behind such currency changes, according to Shaheen, is to use our currency as a teaching tool about the contributions of women.
Such teaching cuts both ways, of course. Removing the long-familiar face of President Andrew Jackson implies that he is no longer Politically Correct, and the advocates of this change make no secret that erasing Jackson is also important to them.
These are the same Progressives who have just turned the once-free Internet into a government-controlled monopoly and who advocate much tighter control over what people may say in our media. As George Orwell foresaw, collectivists are eager to control our language and to rewrite history to impose their views.
So why are Andrew Jackson and his followers now being targeted for erasure?
“The Jacksonians were libertarians, plain and simple,” wrote economist and historian Murray Rothbard, as we quote in our latest book Don’t Bank On It! The Unsafe World of 21st Century Banking [pages 74-76]. “[T]hey strongly favored free enterprise and free markets, but they just as strongly opposed special subsidies and monopoly privileges by government to business or any other group.”
“In the monetary sphere,” Rothbard continued, “this meant the separation of government from the banking system, and a shift from inflationary paper money and fractional reserve banking to pure specie [gold and silver] and banks confined to 100 percent reserves.”
President Jackson waged a successful political fight to prevent America’s economy from being controlled by a European-style central bank in the hands of special interests. Thanks to his efforts, we remained largely economically free until Progressive Democratic President Woodrow Wilson forced both the Federal Reserve central bank and the Progressive Income Tax onto our nation in 1913.
Jackson succeeded in drastically lowering taxes and, wrote Rothbard, “for the first and probably the last time in American history, paying off the federal debt.”
Progressivism and our giant government would have been impossible if President Jackson’s policies favoring independent small banks and honest, hard money, small government, low taxes and zero government debt were still in effect. No wonder today’s Progressives want him erased and forgotten. No wonder they do not want young people looking at Jackson’s image on the $20 bill and asking who he was in our early history. They might even discover how far to the extreme left today’s Democratic Party has moved since Jefferson founded it.
As we observed in our earlier book The Inflation Deception: Six Ways Government Tricks Us…And Seven Ways to Stop It!, “The Federal Reserve and the government welfare state cynically took their revenge by putting paper-money-hating Andrew Jackson’s face on the $20 bill and Jefferson’s face on Food Stamps to lend their legitimacy to both pieces of fiat paper that Jefferson and Jackson would repudiate were they here today.”
The currency we rely upon has become debased and politicized, little more than the promises and platitudes of today’s Progressive politicians. The U.S. Dollar has lost its once-solid value, and it is being turned into a propaganda vehicle for promoting their ideological values and political ambitions. Such are today’s new money changers.
Do not be surprised to see Old Hickory, Andrew Jackson, replaced with Politically Correct faces, whether of women or of Democrat James Buchanan, a lifelong bachelor now portrayed by some Progressive historians as America’s first “gay” President [1857-1861].
The fast-approaching “cashless society” will give Progressives total control of our money and credit, and the future soon will be defaced of all images they deem incorrect.
The antidote to today’s growing cashless system is an honest money system, which America functioned on successfully for 125 years – known as The Gold Standard. Watch Craig Smith explain why a $20 paper bill is only the ghost of real money, a $20 gold piece, in this 2-minute video. $20 Bill vs $20 Dollar Gold