- - Monday, April 25, 2016


We’re told our money will be changing. A woman will displace President Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill. Already there is spirited public comment, both for and against. Arguments about tradition and political correctness versus change and honor dominate, with each side making persuasive points.

The woman at hand — abolitionist Harriet Tubman — would likely not be enthralled with the public debate. One of America’s most important citizens, she was born into slavery around 1820 and as a conductor of the Underground Railroad, personally delivered over 300 people from slavery into freedom. She was also a spy for the Union during the Civil War.

Miss Tubman was a busy woman saving peoples’ lives. She was a not a politician seeking to use our currency as a way to entrench identity politics into our daily routines. Like the good Republican she was, she fought to end treating people differently because of their complexion and she used money to set people free, not enslave them to the political system.

The issue, consequently, isn’t Miss Tubman per se on the front of a bill; it’s the use of her to distract from the multitude of political changes to the backs of the bills which are also planned. This astounding political makeover places groups of liberal icons on the backs of the $5 and $10 bills federally sanctifying identity politics.

If President Obama has his way, the back of the new $5 bill will include the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., opera singer Marian Anderson and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The back of the new $10 bill will feature suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul and Sojourner Truth.

Andrew Jackson, you may be surprised to learn, remains on the $20 bill in the Obama/Lew proposal, but he will be relegated to the back of the bill.

A liberal friend loved it (as expected), and then said something I didn’t see coming, “You want to know another reason why this is great? Because now we can consider the side with our heroes [read liberals, perceived or actual] as the front of the bill and leave conservatives with their side of old, dead, white men.”

Everything Mr. Obama does is political so, of course, the remaking of our currency fits within his consistent and declared desire to “fundamentally transform” the United States. Making even our currency completely political is perfectly Obama.

Many conservatives are inclined to remind people that King was a Republican. My point is not, however, about the individuals involved, but the portrayal of what liberals and leftist special interest groups claim as liberal victories. It’s Mr. Obama’s intentions and the politics of identity and division are at issue and at which he excels.

By placing feminist and black civil rights events on the bills themselves the Obama administration and his liberal sycophants are removing iconic structures that are apolitical (the Treasury building, as an example, will be removed on the $10 bill in favor of a suffragist march) with events that reinforce a false Obama meme — that the country is divided against itself because of our racism and sexism.

Our currency, moreover, is transformed into a subversive instrument suggesting “our side” versus “your side,” as my friend’s excited utterance revealed.

What the Democrats are trusting in, of course, is any rejection of these changes will be immediately labeled as racist and sexist.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said as much. As The New York Times reports, “One wild card is that Mr. Lew and President Obama have just months left in office. But Mr. Lew expressed confidence that his successors would not veto the currency makeovers. “I don’t think somebody’s going to probably want to do that — to take the image of Harriet Tubman off of our money? To take the image of the suffragists off?” he said.”

But, of course, the changes have not yet been made and the argument is already: If you disagree you must be a bigot. But Mr. Lew’s comment itself confirms the intention of this action as one of politics and division.

Certainly Mr. Lew and Mr. Obama should face the same quizzical inquiry about intention. Why, as an example, would they want to shift the overall apolitical position of our currency to one that immediately sinks us into the usual toxic special-interest politics so favored by incompetent politicians? Why would they want to introduce into our daily lives the “us vs. them” narrative?

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.



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