Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich just complimented President Donald Trump by drawing a really unfortunate (and chilling) comparison.
During a recent interview with CBS “This Morning,” the former presidential candidate praised his petulant pal while discussing the commander-in-chief’s ongoing feud with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker — something that Gingrich believes is not good for the country or the GOP.
However, he complimented the real estate mogul by associating him with a former U.S. president remembered for the deaths of thousands of Native Americans after he forced to migrate from their homes.
“I think Trump is a remarkable figure,” Gingrich said when asked how antagonizing members of his own party would help Trump in the White House. “I think he’s a historic figure, he’s certainly probably the biggest change agent since Andrew Jackson in the 1820s and 1830s.”
In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which authorized the government to relocate native tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands in the west. The decision not only forced about 50,000 people from their homes, it also led to some 4,000 deaths due to hunger, exposure and disease along the Trail of Tears.
The forced migration of native tribes from land considered valuable for white settlers is remembered as ethnic cleansing among indigenous communities.
Moreover, Jackson was also a notorious slave owner. Granted he was not the only U.S. president to own slaves, but his ad placed in the Tennessee Gazette in October 1804 shows exactly how he thought of the people forced to work at his plantations.
“Stop the Runaway,” read the advertisement. “A Mulatto Man Slave, about thirty years old, six feet and an inch high, stout made and active, talks sensible, stoops in his walk, and has a remarkable large foot, broad across the root of the toes — will pass for a free man.… If taken (that is, captured) out of state, the above reward ($50), and all reasonable expenses paid – and ten dollars extra, for every hundred lashes any person will give him, to the amount of three hundred.”
The ad was signed, “ANDREW JACKSON, Near Nashville, State of Tennessee.”
Although Jackson also had a number of military achievements to his name, his cruel treatment of slaves and his policies for the Native Americans certainly don’t make him a fit choice to be compared to anyone — much less an incumbent U.S. president.
However, tragically, one cannot ignore the parallels between Jackson and Trump. After all, even the president once flaunted the similarities himself.
“It was during the revolution that Jackson first confronted and defied an arrogant elite,” Trump told the crowd during a speech at Jackson’s Nashville estate and plantation, the Hermitage. “Does that sound familiar?”
Since entering the office, Trump has launched a massive crackdown on immigrant communities residing in the country and signed executive orders to ban travelers from Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. He has also openly attacked the Black Lives Matter movement and referred to black NFL players protesting use of excessive police force against members of his community as “son of a b****.”
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Joshua Roberts