Donald Trump is a very serious man:
President Donald Trump kicked off this week by talking about how the slave-owning, ethnic-cleansing seventh president of the United States could have saved the country from plunging into a bloody civil war.
In an interview with Salena Zito for “Main Street Meets the Beltway” on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. that published Monday, Trump returned to an earlier habit of heaping praise upon President Andrew Jackson—and, of course, discussing how Trump himself is Andrew Jackson 2.0.
“They said my campaign is most like, my campaign and win, was most like Andrew Jackson with his campaign,” Trump boasted, talking up Jackson the “swashbuckler,” as Trump characterized the controversial figure.
He then went on a somewhat bizarre tangent about the Civil War and Jackson’s supposed deal-making prowess and compassion.
“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump said. “He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, [and] he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’ 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?”
The short answer is, of course, slavery. And other U.S. politicians have asked that question in recent years, such as libertarian and Tea Party figure Ron Paul, who argues that the United States could have ended slavery without waging war.
The punchline is that despite his comprehensive ignorance Trump is actually 100% correct that Jackson is much more of a precursor of Trumpism than the New Deal. It would be nice if we could take the hint to stop taking Schlesinger’s fake history of Jacksonianism seriously.