Something I Had Learned in High School

Describe something you learned in high school.

One thing I had learned in high school, as I recall a sophomore history class, was that the good old days weren’t always good. In fact, looking back on early American history, some of the occurrences were appalling.

Our teacher, during an election year, started off with a ‘what if’ lecture. And then, he began describing a mud slinging campaign, where the most vile accusations were tossed at a certain presidential candidate.

I figured he was simply detailing a hypothetical scenario. The accusations were crazy, and, while he rambled on about the candidate’s transgressions, he informed us that every one of his opponent’s claims were valid. The list included, among many others, bigotry and killing a man in cold blood. After the long procession of hideous misdeeds, it seemed prison, not the presidency, should be this man’s fate.

When the teacher was finished, he asked if we would vote for the man. Of course, everyone in class emphatically shook their head, and replied, “Of course not!”

Then he dropped the bomb.

“That man,” he proclaimed, “Became our seventh president, Andrew Jackson.”

I understood then, as I do now, that our leaders are not perfect. Even in his presidency, Andrew Jackson broke laws…which led to horrific consequences. Most notably, he ignored a Supreme Court decision, one that had declared the Cherokee Nation as a sovereign and independent nation, and removed Native Americans from their homeland.

So, I had learned, that, while some men may seem appealing, and maybe they seem well intentioned, they may not be right for public office. It’s amazing that Andrew Jackson is on the face of a twenty dollar bill. I think it states that, sometimes, in politics, appealing to the masses, rather than weighing right and wrong, lend some people an unfair advantage. And as much as I hate that fact, even today, as you look at our current political climate, those detestable facts remain.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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