Andrew Jackson Populism Should Resonate With Voters in 2016, Jim Webb Says

“If you look at our recovery, you will see that if you hold stocks – I hold stocks – you’re doing fairly well under this recovery. The stock market has almost tripled since April of 2009. If you are simply a typical wage-earning American, you haven’t really done that well. Wages actually are flat and a little down. Loans to small businesses actually have been down since that period. And those are the issues that I think need to be addressed. And we have to find ways to protect the working people.” — Former VA. Senator Jim Webb in an interview with National Public Radio. Webb is considering running for president in 2016 as a Democrat, on a platform that economic policies have not benefited working class people.

Webb is author of Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. “I took a lot of time putting together the cultural journey of the people who largely ended up in the Appalachian Mountains and then spread out and became the dominant culture of the non-slaveholding South,” Webb explained. “And I think of blue-collar America. And from their migration here came what we have come to call Jacksonian Democracy.

“Andrew Jackson was the first American president who was not of the English aristocratic descent,” Webb told NPR. “He established the principle that you measure the health of your society at the base, you know, not at the apex. He enabled that political philosophy to sort of become the American philosophy, the way that we have looked at political issues since. And it largely grew out of this culture that I wrote the history about.”

From the book summary at

More than 27 million Americans today can trace their lineage to the Scots, whose bloodline was stained by centuries of continuous warfare along the border between England and Scotland, and later in the bitter settlements of England’s Ulster Plantation in Northern Ireland. Between 250,000 and 400,000 Scots-Irish migrated to America in the eighteenth century, traveling in groups of families and bringing with them not only long experience as rebels and outcasts but also unparalleled skills as frontiersmen and guerrilla fighters. Their cultural identity reflected acute individualism, dislike of aristocracy and a military tradition, and, over time, the Scots-Irish defined the attitudes and values of the military, of working class America, and even of the peculiarly populist form of American democracy itself.


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