Ruth Bader Ginsburg has garnered much negative attention for her remarks about Donald Trump and his unsuitability for the office of president (i.e. because Trump is a madman), but she is far from alone.
On Facebook, a group of prominent historians led by Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, have issued their own verdict on Donald Trump, and it is a far from encouraging one.
Ken Burns’ Stanford commencement address is what got the ball rolling, by encouraging McCullough to contact Burns. The result is a Facebook page, Historians on Donald Trump, that became active on Wednesday.
At Stanford, Burns told students that though the government has made its fair share of mistakes, they would be “hard pressed to find in all of human history a greater force for good.” Which, because he would have the “chief culprit” of our woes be that same federal government, brought him to Donald Trump:
“We see nurtured in his campaign an incipient proto-fascism anti-immigrant Know Nothing-ism, a disrespect for the judiciary. The prospect of women losing authority over their own bodies, African Americans asked to go to the back of the line, voter suppression gleefully promoted, jingoistic saber-rattling, a total lack of historical awareness, a political paranoia that, predictably, points fingers, always making the other wrong.”
That’s right. Don’t let Trump fool you into thinking he had any respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to begin with. He didn’t. In fact, the Religious Right long ago issued a fatwā against Ginsburg.
The mainstream media won’t tell you about any of this as they scold Ginsburg, and neither will Trump, who will not apologize for Ginsburg being 100% right about him. But history matters.
Which brings us to registered independent McCullough, author of numerous works of American history, who says Trump is “clearly unsuited” to be president and remarks that,
“Like so many others, I keep asking myself, how in the world can it be that the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, is on the verge of nominating the likes of Donald Trump for president of the United States?”
“Why would we ever choose to entrust our highest office, and our future, to someone so clearly unsuited for the job?”
Why indeed. Don’t think McCullough’s voice matters? If you want his own qualifications, here they are, as provided by Historians on Donald Trump:
David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize — for “Truman” (1992) and “John Adams” (2001) — and twice received the National Book Award — for “The Path Between the Seas” (1977) and “Mornings on Horseback” (1982). His other acclaimed books include “The Greater Journey” (2011), “1776” (2005), “Brave Companions” (1991), “The Johnstown Flood” (1968), “The Great Bridge” (1972) and “The Wright Brothers” (2015). He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
He knows a thing or two about American history, and about American presidents. You know, compared to the GOP’s fake historian, David Barton (or Bill O’Reilly).
Ron Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired the play, tells us that,
“I’m disturbed by the words missing from the Trump campaign: Liberty, justice, freedom and tolerance. The only historical movement that Trump alludes to is a shameful one: America First.”
Ron Chernow is an American writer, journalist, historian and biographer. He has written bestselling and award-winning biographies of historical figures from the world of business, finance, and American politics, including “Alexander Hamilton” (2004) and “Washington: A Life” (2010), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.
American historian Joseph Ellis said “the future and the fate of the Republic is at stake” and asked millennials to follow the election and to vote in November.
“The nominee of the Republican Party sets unprecedented standards for incompetence, inexperience, self-absorption, and delusional levels of self-confidence that defy clinical descriptions of narcissism. No presidential nominee of a major party has ever failed to serve in any public office, elected or appointed, civilian or military. No nominee has devoted his entire public life so completely to self-aggrandizement and self-promotion without even an inkling of civic responsibility. No nominee…has displayed such nonchalant disdain for the complicated domestic and foreign policy problems facing the nation.”
Until Donald Trump, that is. Ellis’ qualifications?
Joseph Ellis was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his work “Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation” (2000). He also won the National Book Award for “American Sphinx” (1996), a biography of Thomas Jefferson and wrote the New York Times bestseller “His Excellency: George Washington” (2004).
While the New York Post is accusing Ginsburg (but not Trump) of “supreme bias,” and Fox & Friends is celebrating, the facts are being buried. Which is why we have historians.
In a word, these men and women know what they are talking about. The fact is, Ginsburg spoke truth, and so do these prominent historians. If anyone is qualified to judge Trump’s own qualifications, it is this group, and their verdict is damning.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.