In looking at American presidential history, it’s easy to see who President Donald Trump resembles: James K. Polk, the 11th president. There are so many similarities, it’s uncanny.
Both are Presbyterians, workaholics, political outsiders and dark-horse winners. Each beat the political establishment to become president. Goal-driven agendas set the stage with unlimited energy and devotion. Each had presidential mantras: Polk’s was “Manifest Destiny,” Trump’s is “Make America Great Again.” Each slogan was designed to strengthen the United States and improve the overall welfare of the American people.
These two leaders epitomize America’s push to be better than she was, and greater than she’s ever been in seeking better government.
Their victories in the Electoral College were similar: Trump 57 percent, Polk 61 percent. The front runners were unbeatable, according to the experts. Candidates Polk and Trump were made fun of, and each was plagued by made-up scandals: Polk was accused of branding slaves; Trump’s enemies alleged that he was elected by the Russians. The press was an anathema for each, as Trump labeled them dishonest and liars, while Polk declared, “I will not be controlled by a newspaper.”
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Polk expanded the nation by one third; he was a great president. Trump is trying with energy, spirit and vigor.