Recently, many news outlets have been poking fun at President Donald Trump for his comments on Andrew Jackson’s “involvement” in the Civil War. Trump claimed that if Jackson had lived to see the it, “you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” because he would have stopped it somehow. Trump, in the same broadcast interview, questioned the validity of the War, asking “why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
The Washington Post calls these claims “totally bizarre,” as Jackson was not alive during the Civil War and in no way could have prevented it. As well, the article chooses to mention Jackson’s active role in slavery himself and links their own article that details his cruelty to slaves. The article ends with stating the President continues to speak “loudly and confidently” on topics he does not understand. Yet above this, the article mentions that many historians have questioned why the Civil War happened as well.
An article from The New York Times takes a similar stance in patronizing the President for his lack of knowledge or inability to get his point across intelligibly. The article pays particular attention to Trump’s attention to history in comparison to other presidents. “President George W. Bush read 14 books about Abraham Lincoln during his time in office,” according to the article. After this, the article mentions other presidents’ discrepancies in history. Like when President Barack Obama called German death camps stationed in Poland “Polish death camps” or when he claimed his “great-uncle helped liberate Auschwitz” but probably meant Buchenwald.
Though both articles seem to patronize Trump for his comments, they mostly take back their claims, as historians have questioned this before and many presidents have made the same mistakes.