Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Donald Trump compares himself to Andrew Jackson, then thanks African-Americans for not voting

President-elect Donald Trump boasted that his election was an even bigger populist movement than that of President Andrew Jackson during a dinner in honor of Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Wednesday night, The New York Times reports.

The comparison might raise some eyebrows: "Today, Andrew Jackson is no longer very popular, and many of his values are no longer ours," The Smithsonian has noted. "Jackson's populism was … a Trojan horse for pro-slavery, pro-states-rights interests. He was a wealthy slaveholder himself, with no qualms about African-American bondage and deep hostility to abolitionism. He ignored the early movement for women's rights, and his infamous policy of Indian removal partly stemmed from demands by his 'base' for plentiful free land."

Nevertheless:

"There hasn't been anything like this since Andrew Jackson," Mr. Trump quoted his admirers saying. "Andrew Jackson? What year was Andrew Jackson? That was a long time ago."

Mr. Trump then gave the year — 1828 — and went on to suggest that his own nationalist movement had usurped Mr. Jackson's.

He said that even "the haters" who disliked him called his movement "unprecedented." [The New York Times]

Trump then thanked African-American voters for their low turnout on Election Day, which he credited as being "because they liked me, or they liked me enough that they just said, 'No reason.'"