History Buffed

I’m surprised he didn’t say Michael Jackson. Or Janet Jackson. Or Jermaine Jackson. Or even Glenda Jackson.

In an interview yesterday, POTUS Trump wondered why the Civil War wasn’t “worked out” and suggested that Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the war started, could have prevented the most horrific war in U.S. History. Oh, and he neglected to mention the word slavery, among any other facts.

The POTUS Trump’s ignorance is staggering, and his ability to “tell it like it is” is actually a pathetic display of what little ability he has to speak beyond childish simple phrases (albeit with unwarranted arrogance instead of naïveté). This is not merely about not being a great speaker, (which he thinks he is). This is about inadequacy, incompetence, indifference, and idiocy.

This is real news, (and yet, is this really news?), and real history. The POTUS is about making history, and The POTUS TRUMP is all about being an historic figure (although, he will probably remain historic for all the wrong reasons). I never expected any POTUS to be an historian, but I do expect presidential candidates, much less THE POTUS, to be real students of History.

But this POTUS is always distracted and seeks bright, shiny objects (and “Strongmen” where he has business interests). And where luster begins to fade (in his case, knowledge and ability), he buffs it up. Of course any kid who has ever taken an AP U.S. History exam knows, the causes of the Civil War is an essential question/prompt. Actually, every child learns about the causes of the Civil War in elementary school, before tackling the complexities of the conditions preceding the war in more sophisticated high school history classes. This POTUS really is like the Emperor With No Clothes. He is in the buff. He’s no history buff; just nakedly foolish and impetuous, caring only about enriching himself and his family, while feigning Populism.

How many history buffs will be created as a result of this latest ridiculousness? I hope many. What has happened here, and is happening around the world, is an obliviousness to History’s lessons. Those who rightfully feel like Democracy is not delivering fast enough, or the downsides of Globalism and Immigration, as well as technological advances that render many jobs obsolete, have reason to be frustrated and concerned. Legitimate concerns need not deligitimize all of reality, including institutions and forces that have many dimensions, and understanding actual trajectories and consequences, rather than fantasies.  This POTUS and others who claim a similar “Populist”/nativist appeal like to think that their personal histories are the most important, and that problems need not be complex. It’s so simple. Just ask the history buffs.