I was walking toward the Des Moines Art Center on a surprisingly cool day when my friend K.C. joined me.

He didn’t say anything at first, which was unusual. He appeared to be deep in thought, which was understandable given all that had happened in recent days.

I took the initiative and asked: “What’s the difference between Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson?”

“What do you mean?” he replied.

“Trump keeps a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office. He’s clearly a fan,” I said, “but are they really that much alike?”

“You mean because one looks like an orange version of the Pillsbury Doughboy and drinks Diet Coke, while the other was rail-thin and drank gin with water?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well,” K.C. continued, “Jackson had a military background and was known for his personal courage. He took a bullet in the chest before killing a man in a duel. He was later shot in the shoulder during a street brawl and involved in other fights that involved guns, knives and canes.

“Can you imagine Trump, who claimed to have bones spurs to dodge the Vietnam War, doing anything like that?” K.C. said.

“Not really,” I replied.

“Here’s another difference,” he said. “You know how Trump brags about grabbing women by the whatever and pays them off after he sleeps with them?

“I’m pretty sure that if Jackson had ever met Trump, the general would have challenged him to a duel, or maybe just beaten him with a cane, because Jackson, for all his faults, was very sensitive to women’s honor.

“Jackson tried to kill a man who accused his wife of being a bigamist, which technically was true, because Jackson had rescued her from an abusive husband and married her before her divorce was final. 

“As president, Jackson went after members of his own cabinet when their wives disrespected Peg Eaton, the wife of Secretary of War John Eaton.

“Peg was beautiful and flirtatious and was rumored to have had an affair with Eaton that caused her first husband to kill himself,” K.C. continued. “Washington society, led by cabinet members’ wives, shunned Peg, which led Jackson to double down his support for her, often to the distraction and destruction of his own political goals.

“Sound familiar?” he asked.

“But why does Trump embrace a historical figure that makes him look puny by comparison?”  

“Jackson was a strongman,” K.C. said, “and Trump loves political strongmen. Jackson had more chutzpah and showmanship than any president, including Teddy Roosevelt.

“Also, Jackson was a real estate developer who had no time for people of color. Jackson wanted land in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee that belonged to the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, and he basically stole it from them.

“He also owned slaves and mistreated them.

“Like Trump,” K.C. continued, “Jackson was a financial illiterate. He didn’t understand economics or banking. In fact, he proudly killed the Second Bank of the United States, which was the central bank of his time.

“Kind of like Trump bullying the Federal Reserve today,” I said.

“Yeah, and Jackson succeeded way beyond anything Trump can imagine,” K.C. said.

“The sad part is Trump doesn’t know history. He doesn’t know that by killing the Second Bank, Jackson created an economic panic that set back progress by decades. He doesn’t realize that by being a bully, Jackson accomplished so much less than he could have.

“He only knows that Jackson was recognized by historians for all the wrong reasons for too long.

“One thing I can assure you,” K.C. said as he turned and walked away. “You’ll never find Trump’s picture in the Oval office again once he’s gone.”