OPINION: Treasury made right choice to replace Jackson on $20 bill

After discarding early plans to remove the iconic image of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill, the Department of the Treasury announced Wednesday escaped slave, abolitionist, suffragist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman will appear on a new issuance of the $20 bill.

Tubman was selected from a final list submitted from womenon20s.org, and bested the late First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights heroine Rosa Parks and Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller.

The back of both the $5 and $10 bills will undergo modest refinements to underline achievements of the civil-rights and suffragist movements.

“We’re not just talking about one bill. We’re talking about the $5, the $10 and the $20. We’re not just talking about one picture on one bill.  We’re talking about using the front and the back of the bill to tell an exciting set of stories,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNBC.

Analysis

Early plans to eliminate the first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton were abandoned in consequence to a justifiable disapproval from conservatives and historians.

A man of unique consequence even among the genius of our Founding Fathers, Hamilton is held in great reverence for his unparalleled vision for an industrialized nation and the creation of a National Bank despite relentless opposition from political opponents who favored a largely agrarian society.

Those who considered replacing this invaluable Founding Father, first Treasury secretary, author of 51 of 85 critical Federalist essays, and principal architect of the industrialized economy whose creations afforded descendants a modern financial system, funding for the national debt, creation of a National Bank and establishment of a mint with the dollar as currency, inflict harm upon or trivialize a salient figure whose tangible impact persists today.

Removal of the our seventh president, Andrew Jackson, does indeed have merit:  The boorish former military officer, slave owner and politician’s career was marked by gleefully pursuing a brutal policy targeting American Indians, notably the Indian Removal Act, and their forcible removal from their ancestral lands in the southeastern United States to predominantly inarable terrain in Oklahoma certainly disqualifies his image from remaining on American currency.

While a list of unflawed people is virtually impossible to compile, a bulk of Mr. Jackson’s term is a pox on American history.

While Ms. Tubman is marvelous addition to our currency, the list from which she was selected is woefully short on remarkable achievers and long on radical left-wing darlings.

Determination for individuals who decorate American currency should hinge on meritorious achievement or distinction of character.

Tubman, an escaped slave and dispenser of grace who devoted her life to liberate blacks from the menace of slavery often at great personal risk, demonstrated such distinction and achievement through a rare commitment to humanity.

In contrast, finalists for consideration include middling, politically-hard-left figures such as abortion-rights activists Betty Friedan and Margaret Sanger.  Neither are angels of mercy and neither took such risks as Tubman did.

To consider individuals such as Margaret Sanger and Betty Friedan with Harriet Tubman is a disservice to Tubman’s legacy of giving solace to the outcast and defending the despised and the powerless. An agent of reconciliation, Tubman was a healer to the broken.

Dissimilarly, neither Friedan nor Sanger, for example, brought relief to mankind through their tireless campaign for abortion rights.  Through their extremely narrow and shallow campaign for legalized abortion, consideration for their image to decorate American currency can be accurately described as a campaign engineered by fanatics to attribute iconic status to a subset of divisive figures and issues attached to women’s rights, with the goal of using images adorning currency to advance a vulgar political agenda.

Future considerations for modifications to our currency should not be entrusted to womenon20s.org.

Thankfully, and mercifully, no one dared to infringe on Abraham Lincoln.

 

[womenon20s] [RT News] [Image courtesy The Daily Beast]