I could not stop laughing when I read the other day that President Trump said he was a "student of history" and as a result would not have fired his White House counsel, Don McGahn, because "I see what you get when you fire, and it’s not good."
This comment from a man who became famous for firing people on a stupid "reality" TV show -- which I am proud to say I never watched -- and who has fired more White House staffers and cabinet members than I can recount since he became president just over two years ago.
Is that the "history" he learned from?
Or maybe it's the history of Watergate and all of the missteps of Richard M. Nixon that led to his resignation in disgrace? Like firing his attorney general as part of a coverup, for example.
Or maybe it's Robert E. Lee, described by Trump as a great “American” general. Except that in 1862, he turned traitor and became commanding general of the “Confederate States of America.” A son of Virginia, Lee returned home and took up arms against the United States of America, and had it not been for President Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and their gang could have been hanged for treason. Moreover, Lee was a slaveholder who was known to cruelly discipline his slaves when they tried to escape.
On Friday, Trump described the racists and anti-Semites who marched with torches and confederate flags in the summer of 2017 on Charlottesville as “historians” upset that the statues of the great general Lee were being removed. He made the comment in response to Joe Biden’s presidential announcement video in which he criticized Trump for apparently supporting the white supremacists in Charlottesville.
The problem is that the actions of those "historians", those "fine people", resulted in the death of a young woman and others being wounded, beaten and assaulted.
Yes, Trump is a student of history, and he certainly appreciates American history and the symbols that Americans hold dear. Like the White House, that while talking to his buddies at his Bedminster Golf Club, he called "a dump."
As Jason Easley, founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA, wrote on Friday:
Trump accused Canada of burning down the White House, thought Frederick Douglass was still alive, that the Korean Peninsula used to be a part of China, and that most people didn’t know that Lincoln was a Republican. Trump also falsely claimed that his electoral college victory was the biggest in history and that his economy is the best in history. Both of these statements are entirely wrong.
Trump knows nothing about history. Unlike when he ran for president, the American people have more than two years of daily Trump behavior in the White House as a point of reference. Trump is no longer fooling anyone, as his boasts are the laughable lies of a buffoon who doesn’t realize that the microscope of the presidency is exposing every single day.
However, I disagree with Easley on one point. Trump is still fooling a lot of people -- those millions who still support him no matter what, those religious zealots who could care less that he's a lier, a cheat and an adulterer, and those racists, closet or otherwise, who believe he's given them at least tacit permission to perform their violent acts.
Trump has learned nothing from history and he can't even get it right. As he would say, "It's a disgrace."