The news headlines of today leave a lot of us scratching our heads in befuddlement. We are lead to believe that these are extraordinary times and that nothing of the sort has ever happened in the past. It might come as a shock to you, but this is not exactly true. While there may not be an exact match to the personality and quirks of President Donald Trump in history, there are some Presidents who have done things similar to what the current Commander in Chief does.
Thehistoricaldiaries.com has the blaring headline “PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN THREATENS MUSIC CRITIC!!!” on one of their articles about the controversy.
The issue in that day was that the President had a daughter who was in a musical performance that was attended by music critic Paul Hume. That particular critic did not particularly care for the concert nor his daughter’s performance in it and wrote up a negative review of the event. When this came to the President’s attention he was furious.
The President cared about this review not just because he felt that it was an attack on his daughter, but also because he was extremely protective of her emotions. He did not want her to see this and feel dejected in any way. The actions that he took next may have been ill advised.
President Truman actually threatened bodily harm to Mr. Hume. He stated in a letter sent to the critic that he would personally beat him up. This of course is absurd behavior from anyone, let alone a President. Hume decided that this was exactly the kind of thing that the press needed to hear about, and he shopped the letter around until he was able to find an outlet that would publish it. They did, and the story took off all throughout the country. It must have surely altered the opinion of the President in the minds of at least a few Americans at the time and even today.
American political news and commentary have ushered in a new territory when compared to the last administration. Trump has spent his short presidency being confronted daily by a hostile media. It is clear that the media is not only skeptical of Trump, they are still very confused about how he was able to find himself in The White House. As always, the American public simply wants the facts about what decisions are being made and why.
Some news organizations are turning to historians in order to make sense of Trump and his administration. The current contentious feelings between news organizations and the Trump administration has catalyzed an interest in historians to provide their insight and judgment.
In a recent Op-Ed piece published in the New York Times called, “Historians Shouldn’t Be Pundits,” Moshik Temkin, points out the dangers in historians being asked to appear in very short news segments, playing the role of a political pundit. The reality is, that while historians can provide us with valuable information about our political history and how we have evolved, there is a danger in them making ruthless comparisons and analogies.
While many citizens who were not pleased with the election results would enjoy hearing their bias confirmed through a historian comparing Trump to Nixon, or some other evil foreign dictator, these types of correlations are misleading at best. Temkin welcomes the interest in history by news organizations who are inviting historians to make an appearance, and this should be embraced. However, he is cautioning all of us to separate historical facts from our modern-day, volatile political banter that is more reserved for pundit personalities.
President Donald Trump is considered to be a lot of different things by many different people. However, most people do not see him as a historian. During the president’s first six months in office and during his campaign to become president; Trump made many references to various events in American and World history. A news writer for CNN Politics by the name of Gregory Krieg highlighted some of the historical references that were made by Trump.
The president commented on Napoleon’s defeat to the Russians. He believed that Napoleon was indeed a brilliant general and ruler but that he was cheated from victory by Russia’s icy weather. Speaking on Russia, Trump also commented on how the Russian’s cold weather saved them time and time again from certain doom by foreign powers. This is especially true when the Nazi’s tried to overtake their country during World War II. Once again, the icy Russian weather stopped Hitler’s Nazi’s forces in their tracks.
President Trump made references to former President Andrew Jackson. He stated that if President Jackson came around years later, the Civil War probably would not have been fought. That’s because President Jackson was a slave owner. You can draw your own conclusions off this comment.
References to Fredrick Douglas was made by the president. He stated that Douglas had done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more. Then, the president commented on Hillary Clinton’s time as First Lady during the 90s. He stated that Clinton was not able to get a health care bill passed in her name like Obama. Apparently, he wanted everyone to know that Hillarycare never existed.
Trump even claimed that he signed more bills during his six months in office than any other president. While historians state that this is not true because President Harry Truman signed more bills in his first 100 days than Trump did in his first six months. President Trump mentioned many historical events and situations during his brief political career. His insights into American and world history truly are unique and original in a Donald Trump kind of way. After all he is the president and how he views the past does matter.
The Intelligence Senate Select Committee, on May 10, subpoenaed papers from the former National Security Presidential Advisor, Michael Flynn. The Security advisor to the president had business transactions with Russia that he earlier failed to divulge on Federal forms. The critical damning report included payments of $67,000 from three Kremlin-related Russian companies.
Flynn also offered to testify on the 2016 elections meddling by the Russians, calling for immunity in exchange for the damning evidence and exonerate himself from any criminal liability. Could Trump have traded a few million bucks to clinch the highest seat of government so that he could continue doing business with the Russians?
Russian pressure on the U.S. federal budget tactically targeted for secretive dealings would be a financial and political revolution in the history of American Politics. To show cause to the seriousness of this matter, Trump ordered compulsory retirement from public office to all the officials engaged in the Russian scandal, including Michael Flynn.
The evidence linking Russia has so far spurred three investigations, mainly the SIC investigation, the FBI investigation, and a Northern Virginia federal grand jury’s subpoena from Mr. Flynn. President Trump may become toxic politically due to these alarming investigations. It could also affect key members of the Republican administration who would otherwise not want to be associated with the scandal that Trump has attracted so far.
Trump has become so lethal that he’s willing to use anyone within his reach as a pawn to save his soul. Guys like Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein threatened to resign over the maligning scandals in the Whitehouse. Republicans had high hopes of reforming key federal policies and the overall government while relying on the president and widespread support in Congress.
The Russia distraction blew out of proportion due to Trump’s hotheaded, perilous, grandstanding, and hasty public acts and utterances. Therefore, an impeachment by 2018 will be in the Republicans interests to win the midterm election seats by distracting Democratic campaigns whose focus is on the Russia scandal. Already there are four grounds to impeach President Trump.