President Trump made one of the more bizarre gaffes of his political career this morning when he couldn’t seem to understand why our country had a civil war and incorrectly asserted that President Andrew Jackson was “very upset” by the tensions that led to the conflict.
“I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. 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.
President Jackson died sixteen years before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. Jackson was not known for his “big heart;” he signed the Indian Removal Act, which forcibly relocated thousands of Native Americans, many of whom died en route in what would become known as the “Trail of Tears. Jackson was also a vocal supporter of slavery and owned over 150 slaves himself.
But Trump’s last statement is the most troubling of all:
“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?”
The President of the United States appears to be ignorant of some of the most basic and most basic known historical information that is taught in every history class in every school in this country, information that is irrevocably intertwined in our nation’s soul and identity.
The Civil War was fought over the right to own and sell other human beings, and no matter how hard conservatives attempt to whitewash the “War of Northern Aggression” will change that.
Trump’s concerning remarks reveal not only an astonishing ignorance of his own nation’s history but also represents an existential effort to downplay the role that slavery played in our nation; to conceal or otherwise distort the fact that Southerners were willing to fight and die in the name of white supremacy.
As Trump’s administration grows increasingly hostile towards minorities and the President keeps comparing himself to President Jackson, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that these are not just idle remarks but the foundations of Trump’s personal white supremacist agenda.
Listen to Trump’s remarks here: