“Jack Lew’s announcement about having a woman on the $10 bill is another example of how identity politics has reached a new high in this country, and it is practically ruining the core of America. How is it a sign of progress if the best way we can honor a woman is to diminish the importance of an highly accomplished man?…

…The greatest strength of America is that it wasn’t founded on any identity such as religion, ethnicity, gender or race, but rather on great ideas, such as inalienable rights and self-government. Millions of people who came here, including myself, can claim to be Americans because we embrace these ideas and as such are united as one people. If we Americans continue letting identity politics replace ideas, we will eventually fall apart as a nation.”, Helen Raleigh, Littleton, Colo., “The Wall Street Journal: Letters to The Editor”

Opinion Letters

Identity Politics and Bumping Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton’s incredibly farsighted vision and his policies underlay our nation’s remarkable economic trajectory.

Richard Brookhiser’s “First Aaron Burr, Now Jack Lew” (op-ed, June 20) hits exactly the right points. I was saddened to learn that Secretary Lew had decided to jettison our nation’s financial founder without so much as an acknowledgment of his predecessor’s extraordinary achievements. While the term “single-handedly” is often misused, in Hamilton’s case it accurately describes the way in which this visionary conceived and executed a plan to turn a bankrupt, revenue-less, fledgling republic into an investment-grade credit. Hamilton’s incredibly farsighted vision of our financial and economic system saw our nation as an industrial and commercial superpower, and his policies underlay our nation’s remarkable economic trajectory. If anyone deserves to be featured on our nation’s legal tender, he does.

If an existing occupant of our currency portraits needs to be sacrificed for the sake of inclusion, I would be all for replacing Andrew Jackson with a woman or a person of color. Jackson was a slave owner and enthusiastic slaughterer of Native Americans, so is he not a more appropriate candidate for this switch?

Peter Furci

Roslyn, N.Y.

Among all the Founding Fathers, I identify most with Hamilton because I am an immigrant as he was. Hamilton is a quintessential example of the American dream. He embodied an archetype we immigrants are so familiar with: an impoverished young man who immigrates to America, driven by ambition who reinvents himself through hard work and education, and ultimately succeeds. Teddy Roosevelt referred to him as “the most brilliant American statesman who ever lived.” There is no better way to honor him than by having his handsome portrait on the $10 bill.

Jack Lew’s announcement about having a woman on the $10 bill is another example of how identity politics has reached a new high in this country, and it is practically ruining the core of America. How is it a sign of progress if the best way we can honor a woman is to diminish the importance of an highly accomplished man?

The greatest strength of America is that it wasn’t founded on any identity such as religion, ethnicity, gender or race, but rather on great ideas, such as inalienable rights and self-government. Millions of people who came here, including myself, can claim to be Americans because we embrace these ideas and as such are united as one people. If we Americans continue letting identity politics replace ideas, we will eventually fall apart as a nation.

Helen Raleigh

Littleton, Colo.

I suggest that Secretary Lew consider replacing Abraham Lincoln with a woman on the $5 bill. Lincoln already has a guaranteed spot on the penny.

Whatever bill gets a new face, I hope the woman Treasury picks will have some connection to finance rather than yet another voting-rights heroine: for example Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel prize for economics, Mary Roebling, first woman governor of the American Stock Exchange, or Maggie Walker, the first woman (and African-American) banker.

Linda Delfs

Albany, N.Y.

To properly reflect the current state of our culture, I suggest we replace the picture of Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with the latest picture of Caitlyn Jenner.

Bill Babich

Wichita, Kan.

Posted on June 25, 2015, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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