Orlando Sentinel
“In the name of freedom, let’s swap out George, Abe and FDR”
July 3, 2015
By Jack A. ChamblessAs our nation celebrates 239 years of telling everyone we are the land of freedom, it seems fitting that two symbols of the opposite of freedom — Alexander Hamilton and the Confederate flag — would exit stage right and into the dustbin of our questionable past.Hamilton was the one Founding Father who advocated for a quasi-monarchy, the elimination of states’ rights and a federal government that would have immense power to tax income and property. During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, he also championed a broad interpretation of the General Welfare clause of this document in order to allow future governments to spend taxpayer dollars on anything Congress deemed “necessary and proper.” In many ways, we are living with the curse of Alexander Hamilton — a curse measured by our skyrocketing national debt and growing tax burden.Replacing this guy on the $10 bill with, say, Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks — true champions of human liberty — would make sense. So does removing the Confederate flag. No matter what arguments could be made for this flag’s meaning more than a symbol of racism, as long as it flies anywhere, millions of Americans can claim we have not found true freedom as a nation.But why stop with the $10 bill and the Confederate flag?What follows is a list of other changes that should be made in order to reflect the ideals America was founded upon.George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both owned slaves. Sure, they did some nice things fighting for our independence from England and setting a course for liberty in America to eventually grow, but come on, they still owned human beings. Let’s replace Washington on the $1 bill and quarter with the Statue of Liberty and Jefferson’s image on the nickel with the same American Indian who adorned this coin before 1939. The statue never owned anyone and American Indians have been getting a raw deal from our government from the Pilgrims through today’s shameful existence of reservations.Abraham Lincoln has to be next. On more than one occasion, Lincoln expressed racist views toward black Americans. He gave us the first federal income tax, violated the rights of a grand jury hearing for many Americans and began the march toward our omnipotent federal government. Replace him on the $5 bill with Booker T. Washington and drop the penny. Washington, a former slave, taught Americans that as long as true liberty existed, any race of people could flourish. We don’t need the penny at all since it costs more than a penny to make it.Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill? You have to be kidding, right? This guy is single-handedly responsible for the deaths of thousands of American Indians in his famous stance against the U.S. Supreme Court. The court had ruled that Cherokee Indians had private-property rights in the Eastern U.S. White folks wanted the Indians removed so their land could be settled. Jackson famously ignored the court and began the Trail of Tears march to Oklahoma.To this day, American Indians from my home state often refuse to carry a $20 bill. Replace Jackson with, say, Moses, who led slaves out of bondage and into freedom while walking about as far as the American Indians were forced to.FDR should be replaced with Ronald Reagan on the dime. FDR gave us the modern welfare state, interned Japanese-Americans into American-style prison camps and waged war against free markets for 14 years. Reagan restored free markets, freed millions from the tyranny of communism and has a much more handsome profile than FDR.While we are at it, let’s replace the American flag over the White House and Congress with the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag of our Revolutionary times. That way, every morning when the president and Congress show up for work, they could see this reminder flying overhead that July 4th means we were supposed to have freedom from government and not be subservient to it.Jack A. Chambless is an economics professor at Valencia College and a senior fellow with the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee.Article: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-freedom-hamilton-confederate-070315-20150702-story.html