Steve Inskeep: Trump Isn’t Andrew Jackson
For all the similarities, there’s a big difference between Jackson’s victory and Trump’s: Jackson’s greatest political achievement was the widening of democratic space. He brought new groups of voters into the political system. Expanding voting rights and a growing media perfectly coincided with his attention-grabbing campaigns, and the popular vote total tripled—tripled—between Jackson’s loss in 1824 and his victory in 1828….
Trump’s victory in the Electoral College was not a repeat of Jackson’s 1828 popular landslide. It was a repeat of 1824, a transitional year when the president was determined by the mechanics of the Constitution. In this replay of the drama, the role of Andrew Jackson does not fit Donald Trump. Rather he plays the part of John Quincy Adams, the man who benefits from the elaborate American systems designed to filter the will of the people. If Trump intends to become a Jacksonian man of the people, he will have to do something to attract the majority who voted for candidates other than him.