donald trump, 45th president of the united states, has been mocked in the media this week for comments he made on monday related to president #7 of the u.s., andrew jackson.
trump in front of a portrait of andrew jackson (ap photo/andrew harnik)
associated press white house correspondent jonathan lemire writes
trump, who has at times shown a shaky grasp of u.s. history, questioned why issues couldn’t have been settled to prevent the war that followed the secession of 11 southern states ……he suggested that if jackson had been president “a little later, u wouldn’t have had the civil war.”
shaky means questionable in this context, but can mean moving your body in a sexy way too, like in these tracks by daddy yankee and the ian carey project.
grasp in the paragraph above means understanding. settle means fix, arrange. could have been settled and wouldn’t have had are hypothetical situations in the past (3rd conditional). had been is past perfect, and used with if, as it is here, can be used to indicate a hypothetical situation in the past.
it’s common to use the 3rd conditional when speculating about history. in fact, it’s interesting to see how many different variations there are to say more or less the same thing.
andrew jackson was a hero for winning the battle of new orleans during the war of 1812 (decpicted here), but he had been dead for 15 years when the civil war started.
usnews.com reports trumps views on american history with this headline
Trump Asks Why American Civil War Couldn’t Have Been Avoided
avoid gives the idea it didn’t need to happen. lemire describes trump’s perspective like this
president andrew jackson was angry about “what was happening” with regard to the war, which started 16 years after his death, and could have stopped it if still in office.
with regard to means about.
civil war. so stupid.
trump’s direct quote (what he actually said) that caused the most furor (public anger) on-line was
people don’t ask that question, but why was there the civil war? why could that one not have been worked out?
work out means resolve, fix. as lemire points out, the causes of the civil war are indeed widely debated in various forums.
andrew jackson is remembered as a populist who hated indians & owned slaves.
trump was also criticized for appearing to not realize that andrew jackson died in 1845, 16 years before the start of the u.s. civil war, which lasted from 1861-1865. in response, he posted a tweet to show he knew this and that jackson would never have let the civil war happen.
President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
eric foner, a columbia university history professor and civil war expert, doesn’t agree. he says
even andrew jackson, were he alive, could not have solved the problem
in addition, foner named slavery as the root cause (primary motivation) of the civli war, a fact most americans learn in elementary school history.
andrew jackson was a slaveholder and an indian hater responsible for a policy of ethnic cleansing (genocide) against the indigenous people of america. so not only does trump’s “why did it have to happen?” question seem stupid, the imagery feels like another intentional effort to satisfy the racists who elected him.
andrew jackson is on the $20 bill, but not for long. he is set to be replaced by harriet tubman starting in 2020.
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have fun, amigos.