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Donald Trump Has Jumped The Shark

May 2, 2017

Yesterday after it was reported Donald Trump had expressed some truly bizarre thoughts on Andrew Jackson and the Civil War I tuned out.  I never blogged or engaged with much of the news.  The absolute preposterousness of what passes for the thought process of Trump is most unnerving and truly concerning for not only for this nation but also the alliances and partners around the world.  What I was watching from Trump, starting on Sunday’s Face The Nation and continuing until there was no way to watch or hear anymore from him at noon Monday, has left me almost hopeless in thinking there is a way out of this mess some voters placed our nation last fall.

To try and somehow explain that Trump stated he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “under the right circumstances” to defuse tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program, was not only extremely controversial but short on any understanding about the stature of the Oval Office.  When one meets the president or is allowed into the embrace of the White House it is an elevation that must have been earned.  Killing a sibling with chemical weapons is probably not the type of person who should find time with the president.

Hanging out with a rouge’s gallery of bad men is not the image I want my president to be conveying to the world.  From Putin to the heads of Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, the Philippines and now North Korea there seems no end to the praise that Trump affords to the most despicable group of world cast-offs.

Then there was Trump expounding on why the United States needed “a good shutdown” this fall to force a partisan confrontation over federal spending.  The short-sightedness of not grasping the import and severe economic consequences of such an action is breath-taking.

Come October it will be 15 months before the midterm election.  Make no mistake about the way voters will render their judgement on the all-Republican Washington.   And now Trump wants them to own a shutdown!  If they make such a move Republicans will own this one.  All of it.  Our course the seasoned, skilled, and mature Republicans wants absolutely nothing to do with Trump’s idea.

What made for my move Monday to shut off any sources of information–and go solely to turning the pages from Robert Caro and his telling the story of  President Lyndon Johnson–was the mind-boggling views from Trump about the Civil War.

“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump told The Examiner. “He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War; he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’”

He could have let the crazy banter end there.  But, no, Trump continued.

“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

My book shelves are lined with books about history.  Most–but not all–are stories from our nation’s past.  Included among the titles–and from an author I much respect and enjoy– is American Lion by Jon Meacham.   I only wish that Trump had an interest in reading.  Or allowed someone to read to him.

Had he any knowledge of Jackson he would know it would have been hard for the former president to be “really angry” about the Civil War because he died 16 years before the first shots were fired.  But not to be caged in by that fact Trump then tweeted later that Jackson “saw it coming and was angry.”   Dear God, in heaven, please just make the crazy stop!

Trump misses by a million miles that the cause of the Civil War  was summed up in one word.  Slavery.  There is no dispute about that FACT.  As a most appreciative admirer of President Lincoln, and widely read on that period of our past–let me add for a foundation that can not be questioned.  While there was an economic divide that separated the agricultural-dominant south from the industrialized north and that contributed to sectional friction that too was also a result of slavery.  Place the questions about morality into the mix and the only thing left to ask is how can Trump miss the obvious?

My final thought on this most bizarre crash-up from Trump revolves around whether Jackson could have cut a deal to not allow for the war to happen.  Let me state here very plainly that most historians say it was unavoidable.  As to Jackson who owned slaves,  well it is very likely that any Civil War-avoiding deal would have ensured that slavery would have continued in some parts of this nation.

But as we get to know more about Trump I suspect such a deal would have been fine with him.

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