The list of things Donald Trump does not know continues to grow with the revelation that he thinks President Andrew Jackson, a slave-owning personal hero of his, was somehow involved in the Civil War, before going on to wonder why nobody thinks about why we fought it.
Here's the audio on that Trump answer: "Why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?" pic.twitter.com/tEUFGRDMSM
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 1, 2017
“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 and he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said ‘There’s no reason for this.’ People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question. But why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
As NBC News’ Brad Jaffy pointed out, there are some problems here: Trump’s big-hearted hero, “Andrew Jackson was a slaveholding plantation owner. He also died 16 years before the Civil War began. This Trump answer is astonishing.”
To paraphrase Matthew Yglesias, Trump may not be a policy wonk but he makes up for it by failing to grasp the subtleties of American history.
As it happens, people do think about that question. A lot. Literally, thousands of books have been written about it.
The current debate has been about the issue of states rights, as though this somehow does away with the root cause of slavery. It doesn’t. The states rights in question were the rights of states to say it’s okay to own slaves.
It’s as simple as that. Slavery caused the Civil War. But Donald Trump does not know this. And he thinks Andrew Jackson disapproved of it. Jackson. Who owned slaves.
Obviously, Donald Trump hasn’t the first clue why the Civil War was fought, any more than he had any idea Abraham Lincoln was a Republican or that healthcare was complicated. This is a man who doesn’t know anything and who doesn’t care to learn anything.
We have four years to go folks. Be prepared to be introduced to all the myriad other things Donald Trump doesn’t know. This won’t be the last time he embarrasses himself and us all with his profound ignorance of just about everything.