Trump and Andrew Jackson May 2, 2017

This time Trump has told Jon Meacham that if he were in Lincoln’s shoes, he would have prevented the Civil War. Maybe if he was in Andy Jackson’s boots, the he would have avoided the Battle of New Orleans and made a deal to trade Louisiana for the Stone of Scone. The King of Self, in the Civil War tradition that he knows so much about, has placed a monument on his golf course in his Lowes Island GC in Virginia commemorating a battle that was supposedly fought there. Sorry, another lie by the King. There was no “river of blood” there!

Speaking of the King of Self, it wasn’t so bad that the old warts, wounds and historical impurities of Old Hickory, Andrew Jackson, were exposed to today’s generation by the most ill-informed and ignorant person to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Poor Andy Jackson, who was slashed by a British Recoat during the Revolutionary War and went on to be the first real Democratic President, was, for most of the 180 years since he was president, rated as a great or near great president. Of course, up until 1945, we only had 32 presidents, and since Jackson, only two presidents had served out two full terms; Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

Many, in the period from the 1840s to the 1970s ignored some of Jackson’s most notorious warts; the Cherokee relocation, or the “Trail of Tears,” the fact that Jackson owned about 150 slaves at his death, and that he was an acclaimed “Indian” fighter and a very successful duelist. Obviously, early generations admired Indian fighters and tough guys like Jackson, who was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans that theoretically taught the British a costly lesson, when they invaded Louisiana, weeks after they actually lost the War of 1812 and signed a peace treaty. Jackson was always given high marks as a leader. Eventually, he was nominated and almost won the presidency in 1824, (defeated in the Electoral College), but was finally elected and re-elected in landslides in 1828 and 1832. He was a reformer, a nationalist, an opponent of John C. Calhoun’s opposition to the Tariff of Abominations, was the only president to pay off the National Debt, established relations with European countries regarding trade, opposed the 2nd Bank of the United States, which unfortunately was a contributing factor in the bank crisis of 1837 and the resulting panic and long recession. But, all in all, he was given very high marks and even today he is highly rated, even in this politically correct era.

But, here we are 172 years after his death and over 150 years after the Civil War, where probably over 700,000 Americans died (a new estimate). That high death total represented one out of every 44 Americans in 1860. With today’s population of 320 million, those deaths, with todays’ numbers, would represent over 7 million. Of course, of these 700,000, a vast percentage were men from the ages of 16 to 45. In fact, that number of 7 million, would be almost greater than all the soldiers lost in WWII by Germany, Japan, Britain and the United States combined. In fact, the population of those countries in 1939, totaled 319 million, almost exactly what today’s population of the United States. In other words, it was a pretty large conflict.

So, how does a president of the United States be so functionally illiterate about the history of the United States and the immensity of the Civil War? Aside from the fact that Jackson died 16 years before the Civil War, he, like most Americans did not want war. A vast amount of Americans were ambivalent about slavery (there were very few Abolitionists even in 1860) and there was general support for compromises regarding slavery, from the Missouri Compromise in 1820 (Missouri and Maine would come into the Union as Slave and Free states,) to the Great Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Of course, that last attempt to stave off a fratricidal war over slavery, led to the rise of John Brown, Bloody Kansas and his ill-fated raid on Harper’s Ferry’s Federal Arsenals. The Election of 1860 of Abraham Lincoln as President, with his opposition to the spread of slavery to the western part of America, promised to change the slave/free balance in Congress, and would lead to the promised Secession of seven (SC seceded in 1860) Southern States. But, the King of Self could make a deal!
So assuming Andrew Jackson was alive or even president in 1861, which is patently idiotic, how would he have stopped Secession? Even some historians in the distant past have speculated that the Federal government could buy out slavery, by paying the market price for the slaves. There were approximately four million slaves in America in 1860 and the average price of a slave has been estimated at $800, which would put their total value at $3.2 billion. The whole GNP of the United States in 1860 was only $4.3 billion. So could the fictional President Jackson have raised that money? Not really, remember, he had paid off the National Debt in 1835, which was only $58 million when he came into office. Therefore, where would America get $3 billion to buy the slaves? Maybe this fictional President could have borrowed money from the Chinese and the Russians like our present incumbent. Of course, the truth and myth are always swirling in the head of the King of Self aka the Moron-in-Chief. Recently we were astounded by the King as he was applauding the great efforts of Frederick Douglass, who happened to have died in 1895. Is the King that uninformed? The King likes to drop names of his buddies, even if they are long dead. Recently, he claimed he was a great friend of the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who died in 2007. Interestingly, Pavarotti’s family can’t stand the King. It seems that the King wanted to stiff Pavarotti after a performance he didn’t like. But, that’s nothing new for the King, because he has been stiffing people and vendors for years. Maybe that is why he has been in court over 4000 times. So now, after all has been said, the King really isn’t sure about Old Hickory’s ability to avoid the Civil War, but for sure, as he told historian Jon Meacham, he could.

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A lifelong New Yorker, who now lives full-time in Palm Beach County, Richard was raised in Mount Vernon, New York and he was educated in the Mount Vernon public schools He graduated from Boston University with a BA in American History. After spending a year on Wall Street as a research analyst with Bache & Co., he joined a manufacturing and importing firm, where over the next twenty-five years he rose to the position of chief operating officer. After the sale of that business, Richard entered into the financial services field with Metropolitan Life and is a Registered Representative, who has been associated with Acorn Financial Services which is affiliated with John Hancock Life Insurance Company of Boston, Ma. Today, he is a retired broker who had specialized in long-term care insurance and financial planning. One of Richard’s recent activities was to advise and encourage communities to seek ways to incorporate “sustainability and resiliency” into their future infrastructure planning. After a lifetime in politics, with many years working as a district leader, which involved party organizational work, campaign chair activity and numerous other political tasks, Richard has been involved with numerous civic and social causes. In recent years, Richard served in 2005 as the campaign coordinator of the Re-Elect Paul Feiner Campaign in Greenburgh, NY and he again chaired Supervisor Feiner’s successful landslide victory in 2007. Over the next few years, he advised a number of political candidates. He has served as an appointed Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, with responsibilities regarding the town’s “liaison program.” He was a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board of the Town of Greenburgh, NY. Richard has lectured on FDR, The New Deal and 20th century American history in the Mount Vernon schools, at the Westchester Council of Social Studies annual conference in White Plains, and at many senior citizen groups, which include appearances at the Old Guard of White Plains, the Rotary Clubs of Elmsford and White Plains, and various synagogue groups around Westchester. In the winter of 2006 Richard was the leader of the VOCAL forum, sponsored by the Westchester County Office of Aging, which addresses the concerns of Westchester County’s Intergenerational Advocacy Educational Speak-out forums for senior citizens. Richard has given lectures for the Active Retirement Project, which is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center on the Hudson, the Greenburgh Hebrew Center, and other groups around Westchester County. Richard also is the founder and Chairperson of the Jon Breen Memorial Fund, that judges and grants annual prizes to students at Mount Vernon High School who submit essays on public policy themes. He also sponsors the Henry M. Littlefield History Prize for the leading MVHS history student. Richard serves on the Student College Scholarship Committee of Mount Vernon High School. In past years Richard chaired and moderated the Jon Breen Fund Award’s cablecast program with the Mayor and local and school officials. Richard has been a member of Blythedale Children’s Hospital’s Planned Giving Professional Advisory Board, and was a founding member of the committee to re-new the FDR Birthday Balls of the 1930’s and 1940’s with the March of Dimes’ effort to eliminate birth defects. Their renewal dinner was held at Hyde Park on January 30, 2003. Richard is currently an active contributor to the Roosevelt Institute, which is involved in many pursuits which included the opening of the Henry A. Wallace Center at Hyde Park, and the Eleanor Roosevelt – Val-Kill Foundation. In 2007, he proposed to the City of Mount Vernon an effort to develop an arts, educational, and cultural center as part of a downtown re-development effort. Richard was a team partner with the Infrastructure & Energy Solutions Group. IEFG which has developed innovative strategies for the 21st Century. Richard hosted a weekly program on WVOX-1460 AM radio, called “The Advocates,” which was concerned with “public policy” issues. The show, which was aired from 2007 until May 15, 2013, has had amongst its guests; Representative Charles Rangel, Chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, along with hundreds of others. All the 300 shows are archived at Richard currently gives lectures on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR and the Jewish Community, The New Deal, FDR and Douglas MacArthur, 20th Century American Foreign Policy Resulting in Conflict, and Israel’s Right to Exist. Richard lives in Boynton Beach, Fl, with his wife Linda of 44 years. They have two married children. Their daughter Dana is a Rutgers College graduate, with a MS from Boston University, and is the Assistant Director of Recruitment at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Their son Jon is an electrical engineering graduate of Princeton University and a senior software architect at NY/Mellon Bank in NYC. Richard J. Garfunkel Recent Appearances: KTI Synagogue, Rye Brook, NY- Long Term Care & Estate Conservation- Anshe Shalom Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY- Long Term Care- American Legion Post, Valhalla, NY- Long Term Care and Asset Protection- Doyle Senior Ctr, New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care and Asset Protection- AME Methodist Ministers, New Rochelle, NY, LTC and Charitable Giving- Profession Women in Construction, Elmsford, NY, LTC and Business Benefits- Kol Ami Synagogue- White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Disability - Beth El Men's Club-New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care-Is it Necessary- Greater NY Dental Meeting Javits Ctr, NY, NY- LTC and Disability- IBEW Local #3 , White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Asset Protection, Health Fair -Bethel Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY-LTC and Disability, Heath Fair- Riverdale Mens Club CSAIR- Riverdale, NY- LTC- Life Weight Watchers of Westchester and the Bronx-LTC and Tax Implications Sunrise Assisted Living of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, NY-LTC Sprain Brook Manor of Scarsdale-LTC- November 15, 2001 Sunrise Assisted Living of Stamford, Connecticut, February 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, February, 2002 The Old Guard Society of White Plains, NY, April, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY August, 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, October, 2002 JCC of Scarsdale, Scarsdale, NY, November, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY, January, 2003 The Rotary Club of White Plains, NY January, 2003 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY April, 2003 Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, NY January, 2004 Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, NY March 2004 Kol Ami/JCC of White Plains, NY November, 2004 The Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, January 2005 The Sunrise of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, April, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, November, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, December, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, January, 2005 Rotary Club of Elmsford, April, 2006 Kiwanis Club of Yonkers, June, 2006 Greenburgh Jewish Center, November, 2006 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, February, 2007 Hebrew Institute, White Plains, March, 2007 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, NY, April, 2007 Westchester Meadows. Valhalla, November, 2007 Hebrew Institute. White Plains, November, 2007 Art Zuckerman Radio Show- January, 2008 JCC of the Hudson, Tarrytown, February, 2008 Matt O’Shaughnessy Radio Show, March, 2008 WVOX –Election Night Coverage, November, 2008 WVOX – Inaugural Coverage, January 20, 2009 The Advocates-host of the WVOX Radio Show, 2007- 2010 Rotary Club of Pleasantville, February, 2009 Hebrew Institute of White Plains, May, 2009 JCC Hudson, Tarrytown, December, 2009-10-11-12 Brandeis Club, Yonkers, March 25, 2010

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