Since the GOP controlled Senate Impeachment Trial appears to be profiles in cowardice, something caught my eye about the inexplicable one-way loyalty Trump receives. A November, 2019, Economist/YouGov Poll revealed that 53% of Republicans consider F.I. (“Forever Impeached”) Trump to be a superior president to Lincoln. (Quoting John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious!”)
One of Trump’s most devoted sycophants is Fox TV host Lou Dobbs. According to F.I. Dobbs said Trump is a better president than Reagan. At one of his raucous Nuremberg-type rallies, Trump went a step further claiming Dobbs included George Washington. (Trump and Washington do have a connection in that George reportedly could not tell a lie and, having told 16,000 in three years, Donald clearly can’t tell the truth.)
As for a comparison to Lincoln, Trump often cites the soaring stock market. But the market came about twenty years after Abe’s death. (By the way, percentage-wise, the market grew more under Obama and unemployment fell further!)
I thought a valid comparison might be each president’s oratory. One of Lincoln’s most famous speeches was the emotionally moving Gettysburg Address, which I’ve juxtaposed to some of Trump’s more “unique” commentary.
Given at the site of the tragic battle, the Gettysburg Address begins, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” (I’d be willing to bet Trump doesn’t know what “four score and seven years” adds up to and he’s proved over and over he definitely doesn’t know what “liberty” means.)
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.” (Trump has said, “We got more money. We got more brains. We got better houses and apartments. We got nicer boats. We’re smarter than anybody.”)
Back to Lincoln at Gettysburg, “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” (About the U.S. military Trump has said, “We train killing machines.”)
“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (I think Trump might say, “It depends on who the people are and how much money they donated to my campaign.”)
Often at danger to himself, Lincoln visited many of the war zones. At the bloody battle of Richmond, Lincoln and his son Tad visited the still smolder ruins of the South’s former Capital. On November 11, 2018, marking the 100 year anniversary of the armistice that ended WWI, Trump skipped a visit to a cemetery for fallen American soldiers because even a drizzle plays such havoc with his cockamamie hair.
Whereas Lincoln hopefully spoke of preserving the union for future generations, Trump thinks more “short term.” When discussing the economy, Trump noted the debt would reach a critical mass only after his second term. “Yeah, but I won’t be here,” the president said with a sick smile.
If you’re suffering from three years of Trump fatigue, Google “Transcript Gettysburg Address.” It only takes three minutes to read and it might just restore your faith in our democracy that’s disappearing right before our eyes.
If Trump were to read it, which is a big if given his bizarre reading difficulties. Has he always had dyslexia or are we witnessing cognitive deterioration? For example, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Philip Rucker and Carole Leonning wrote in their bombshell book “A Very Stable Genius,” on camera Trump was unable to read a simple section of the Constitution. In a temper tantrum fit he shouted, “It reads like a foreign language book!”
No, Mr. President, it’s the Constitution, which you seem set upon destroying. Like your many bankruptcies, may you fail and return to doing Pizza Hut commercials.