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Trump and Jackson Don’t Have This In Common But They Absolutely Should

By Victoria McNally | Politics | May 1, 2017 |


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Even before Trump’s typically-baffling comments about how Andrew Jackson would have stopped the Civil War from happening despite dying 16 years before it began, it was patently obvious that our 45th president has a total man-crush on our seventh. He’s put a painting of the guy up in the Oval Office, and one of his first official (re as: not a golf session) trips as President was to Jackson’s Hermitage estate in Nashville to lay a wreath on Jackson’s tomb.

It does make a grim sort of sense that Trump would see himself in Andrew Jackson — people keep making comparisons between the two (often to demonstrate how Trump is also unfit for office, but tell that to that the guy who unironically identifies with the lead protagonist of praising his nemesis Henry Clay at a political rally.

However! If Trump is gonna be all gung ho about Old Hickory going forward, I have an idea for something else they could have in common, and Trump is just susceptible enough to suggestion that I genuinely think we could convince him that it’s a good idea. What we do is, we get him a parrot.

Andrew Jackson bought an African gray parrot named Poll for his wife Rachel (whom he genuinely appeared to love, marking yet another difference between the two men), and continued to care for the bird after she died. For Trump it would have to be a more impressive-looking bird, of course — a blue and gold Macaw like the one above would definitely seem right at home in Mar-A-Lago, no? Plus, it’s been 50 years since any kind of bird has lived in the White House, so Trump would get to say he’s the first president in decades to do a thing and bring up Andrew Jackson in every conversation about it. We could also tell him it would make everybody forget about that time a bald eagle tried to eat him! He’d probably go for that, right?

Of course, Poll is famous for another reason: According to legend, she swore so much during Andrew Jackson’s funeral that she had to be forcibly removed. Below, a quote from the Reverend William Menefee Norment, as found in volume 3 of Samuel G. Heiskell’s Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History:

Before the sermon and while the crowd was gathering, a wicked parrot that was a household pet, got excited and commenced swearing so loud and long as to disturb the people and had to be carried from the house.
And a second source, from Norment’s obituary in the Cumberland Presbytyrian:
Rev. Norment says he went to the [sic] funeral and that the General’s parrot, excited by the multitude and the wailing of the slaves, let loose perfect gusts of “cuss words.” The Negro slaves of the General were horrified and awed at the bird’s lack of reverence.

Someday watching a parrot curse at Tump’s coffin — probably on live television, no less, because you know his eventual funeral will be the highlight of Fox News that day — wouldn’t be worth all the already-horrendous political strife he has inflicted on this country, exactly. But gosh, how satisfying does that sound? We probably wouldn’t even need to frontload the bird with swear words, because I’m sure he’d pick up all kinds of fresh horrors from the man himself. It would be, to borrow a phrase, tremendous.


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