March 9, 2016
(See Update: War of Wives.)
According to the Huffington Post, the Republican establishment, Karl Rove and the top CEO’s of the world met on an island off the coast of Georgia last weekend. A big part of the meeting was dedicated to how to destroy Donald Trump.
Let’s hope that the volley leveled at Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, on television Tuesday was not part of their plan.
Last July, 2015, I compared Donald Trump to Andrew Jackson. Soon after, the comparison started showing up in the mainstream media. They are startling facts. I reviewed some of them again in recent television appearances and in a blog. Now, sadly there is yet another comparison which I can only hope won’t be repeated.
In 1828, in the middle of a bitter presidential campaign, the political establishment became frustrated by their inability to take down Andrew Jackson. He was opposing their call for a second national bank. He was from the West, all six American presidents had come from the East Coast. He was a Presbyterian, they were all Episcopalian. He had no governing experience. They were all members of the nation’s political aristocracy. Two came from the same family. Four had been Secretary of State.
But Jackson was tough. He carried several bullets in his body from wars with the Indians, the British and personal duels defending his honor. When establishment attacks on him backfired his angry political enemies turned on his wife. Rachel Jackson was savaged.
Yesterday, in an eerie reflection of this historical rerun, a spokesperson for Ted Cruz, lashed out against Melania Trump. It happened on the Neil Cavuto Show on the Fox News Channel and seemed to take the host by surprise. The spokesperson said that if Donald Trump won the White House, his wife Melania would become the only First Lady to have been a presidents’ third wife. She would be the only First Lady to have posed for photographs in the nude. And she would be the only First Lady in a hundred years to have been born outside of the United States.
Here are the facts. Melania Trump was a model, born in Slovenia. She appeared on the cover of Vogue, Vanity Fair and countless magazines. She is fluent in five languages and has devoted recent years of her life to charity. She has only been married once and that to Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachel Jackson was accused of adultery, bigamy and called a whore by opposition preachers and politicians. It all stemmed from some discrepancies between the dates of her divorce to a first husband who had disappeared and her later marriage to Jackson.
Rachel, a devout Presbyterian, who seldom left their Hermitage plantation was protected from the accusations.
In December 1828, after Andrew Jackson had been elected President of the United States, she ventured into Nashville, Tennessee to buy dresses for the White House. She wanted to look her best for the Inauguration and she wanted to be an accommodating hostess for the nation.
In the stores she found stacks of old newspapers and in spite of attempts from her friends to keep her away from them she insisted on reading every line. Thus, Rachel Jackson was finally exposed to the sensational accusations that had been leveled against her for months during the bitter campaign. The political opposition had taken every opportunity to trumpet their own interpretation of the events of her life. Some of the quotes and comments were quite salacious.
Rachel Jackson, wife of the President-Elect, was stunned. She went into a mental and physical decline. On December 18, 1828 she collapsed and was ordered to bed. She died four days later and was buried on Christmas Day.
She never wore the beautiful dresses from Nashville. She never set foot in the White House.
Her husband, the President, mourned her loss by gazing at her miniature and reading from her Bible every night for the rest of his life.
We can only hope that yesterday’s attack on Melania Trump was an aberration and that the men and women of the Republican Party establishment will pause a moment to consider their own wives and sons and daughters and do what they have to do to protect their interests without hurting the wife or families of their opposition.
You can start reading the story of Andrew Jackson and other presidential families right now on Kindle. All the Presidents Children.
Read: How the establishment will now try to steal the nomination from Donald Trump.