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Dan Rather: Trump's History Knowledge Less Than A Child

| by Ray Brown

Journalist Dan Rather once again took to Facebook to criticize President Donald Trump, this time saying the president's knowledge of American history is less than that of a child.

"Nevermind that Mr. Trump's knowledge of American history seems below that of most gradeschoolers," Rather said in his Facebook post. "Nevermind that in many people's view, Jackson is not exactly the kind of president, or man, you would want to hold up as an example. And nevermind that there is an implicit criticism of arguably our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. (It reminds me of his slam against John McCain and how war heroes aren't captured. Apparently great presidents don't wage a war to keep the Union together)."

He added: "These are the rantings of someone who really should be focused on the job of governing. Should we not conclude that he approaches policy decisions with the same half-baked conspiracies with which he apparently approaches history?"

Rather continued: "To be President of the United States is to part of the great American story. To not understand that story is to not understand the presidency. Maybe Frederick Douglass can give Mr. Trump some advice. Apparently, he's 'an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more.'"

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Rather's screed came after Trump was roundly criticized for questioning why the Civil War was necessary and pondered if it could have been prevented by former President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the war broke out in 1861.

Many criticized Trump for misunderstanding history, including the reason for the Civil War and the fact that Jackson died long before the war broke out.

"I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the Civil War," Trump said in an interview with Sirius XM Radio, reports The New York Times. "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?"

The New York Times interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning Jackson biographer Jon Meacham about Trump's statement. Meacham said it was possible Trump was referring to the nullification crisis, a sort of preamble to the Civil War which occurred during Jackson's lifetime that began in 1832.

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The issue at hand was a conflict between South Carolina and the federal government that would later become an ignition factor for beginning the Civil War.

"During the crisis, President Jackson 'took a firm stand on the side of the union,” Meacham said, adding, "There are two stray Trumpian ideas that collided into each other when he talked."

Sources: Dan Rather/Facebook, The New York Times (2) / Photo credit: nrkbeta/Flickr

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