We don’t seem to be able to leave things alone.
The latest national correction has to do with replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. I am loathe to change much, being old and set in my ways, but there are some out there who want this guy replaced. To tell the truth, he probably wouldn’t make it to the 2¢ stamp today. Changing times are not kind to yesterday’s heroes.
Frankly, I am not sure why we need to change anything, but bureaucrats, lobbyists and revisionists, being what they are, need something to keep them busy so why not redecorate the “20”? There is also a huge sense that too many unsung heroes need to be honored. There aren’t enough currency denominations available to honor even a faction of them. Anyway, who cares? As long as the paper works at the cash register, what does it matter?
Here’s what. It’s like the flag. It is next in line as the national symbol. When you think of he American Greenback Dollar you think George Washington, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. You really don’t want to mess with that. On the face of it it doesn’t mean a thing, but just a step behind the face of it is everything American. I’m speaking symbolically, of course. Being American, of course, is more about a way of life than all those national symbols.
We don’ really need Andrew Jackson. Why not replace him? Just one reason will do. The Indian Removal Act of 1830. The so-called Five Civilized Tribes were moved out of their ancestral lands in the fertile southeastern states which white people wanted, to be “resettled” in land unwanted by whites in the arid southwest. That tragic removal, known as the Trail of Tears, is one of the blackest marks on our muddled history with non-whites. Good riddance Mr. Jackson.
My nomination for the “20” would be Kermit the Frog. He is lovable, very human, never hurt anyone and would blend in with the general color scheme. I mean what else do you need? Besides he is a national figure with a huge following. Find me one person who does not love him and I’ll shovel your snow. No, wait - I’ll find someone else to shovel your snow.
Harriet Tubman is a leading contender for the slot. Her nomination would be a satisfying statement ratifying the “under history” of our nation rather than enthroning another national front page politician for the honor. It really doesn’t make any difference in the long run. It’s just money, and I never have many 20s in my pocket anyway. But somehow I find it sweet justice to know that every time some billionaire white guy gave a $20 bill to a cabbie he had to know the person on the face of the bill was an Engineer on the Underground Railroad. There’s that.