Trump’s Ignorance of History Is Embarrassing

(As I reiterate ad nauseum, Mark’s Text Terminal is not a political or policy blog. This blog is, however, concerned with learning and intellectual life, as well as reasoned and literate public discourse of matters of importance to citizens of this republic. So it is with mounting chagrin that I watch and listen to President Donald Trump’s pronouncements. Here’s a post from Diane Ravitch’s Blog that reminds me of Mr. Trump’s general illiteracy, and brings to mind Richard Lederer’s famous compendium of student bloopers.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Trump seems never to have studied American history. The things he says that betray his ignorance are alarming.

I think it is very important for every American to learn about history and government and civics.

Whenever he opines about the past, his comments show a man who has no background knowledge, has never learned any history.

Today, Trump tweeted that Jackson saw the Civil War coming and he would not have let it happen.

Jackson died some 15 years before the Civil War, but we know this about him. He was a slave-owner and a white supremacist. He also drove Native Americans out of their lands, in what is known as the Trail of Tears. Probably, had he been president in 1861, he would have let the South secede or avoided their secession by offering to accept slavery as okay.

But counterfactuals are always problematic. We can’t know what…

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