“Why was there the Civil War?”
Fresh off his first 100 days, President Donald Trump is kicking off the next 100 by apparently trying to give history professors all over the country a collective aneurysm.
In an interview with journalist Selena Zito, Trump pontificated on the greatness of Andrew Jackson and how Jackson could have prevented the Civil War and if you’re brain isn’t in pretzel knots now, just wait.
In the interview, Trump wonders why no one asks why the Civil War was fought, suggests he himself doesn’t understand why there was a Civil War, and then ponders why we all couldn’t get along.
Here’s audio for your earholes.
So, in case you didn’t catch that, here’s a transcript of the exchange.
And there it is. In a presidency full of incredibly dense, half-baked quotes and madcap ideas, there is perhaps the stupidest question posed by our 45th president yet.
“[Jackson] was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.'”
While Jackson did prevent South Carolina from seceding during the Nullification Crisis, this occurred nearly 30 years before the Civil War broke out.
Also, Jackson was a well-known slave-owner, as outlined by the website for Jackson’s historic home, The Hermitage.
“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?”
You can scream “states rights!” and “economic factors!” all you want but the reasons the War Between the States happened in the first place all come back to slavery. It’s hard to believe Trump actually doesn’t know this.
It’s like Trump saw the reports over the weekend that no one is paying attention to his tweets anymore and decided, “I need to say something batshit crazy.”
Well, people noticed.
Trump: “Most people don’t know that Lincoln was a Republican.”
Also Trump: “People don’t ask this, but why was there the Civil War?”
— Danielle Blake (@abradacabla) May 1, 2017
Trump didn’t catch the events last week in New Orleans nor, apparently, the 65,000 books written about the Civil War.
— Herbie Ziskend (@HerbieZiskend) May 1, 2017
(The bad part of Trump’s comment isn’t that Jackson was dead, it’s that Jackson would have stopped the Civil War by maintaining slavery)
— italian trip booker (@jesseltaylor) May 1, 2017
In case Trump thinks no one ever wonders about the Civil War, let this serve as your reminder that Alabama and Mississippi celebrated Confederate Memorial Day just last week.