“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana
One of the most frustrating things about modern society is discovering that issues that you thought were permanently settled keep reappearing as if no one learned the lessons from the first time they were encountered.
For example, until recently one would be considered insane or psychopathic if one disagreed with the notion that fascism is bad.
Hell, America fought a whole world war that one had supposed had answered that question fairly definitively.
This tendency to forget the lessons of history — or, worse yet, to never become aware of them to begin with — likely stems from the pervasive failures of the American educational system to properly educate our children and a media landscape that honors celebrity over scholarly accomplishment, leaving most of the country with an anti-intellectual bias that weakens our society in so many ways.
Of course, this is a country that elected — albeit by a small minority of the popular vote — the poster boy for anti-intellectualism as president in 2016.
Donald Trump has cemented his status as the least informed — more frankly put, the stupidest — president in modern times with his latest disturbing press release, commenting on something that is barely worthy of comment (except as an opportunity to launch another skirmish in the ongoing culture wars that help the former president troll his supporters for more campaign donations.)
The issue that inspired Trump’s latest brain fart is the planned removal of a bust of Thomas Jefferson from the chambers of the New York City council, an idea that would more properly be addressed by local political figures like the mayor of the city or, in a worst-case scenario, by New York State’s governor.
For Trump, any perceived slight to one of the founding fathers is fodder for a politically charged attack campaign to create more division in the nation and provide him with what he apparently thinks is ammunition against the forces fighting his authoritarian vision of a country under the control of wealthy oligarchs and right-wing evangelical frauds.
Unfortunately for Trump, trying to make a point about a slight towards a historical figure requires at least a basic level of familiarity with the facts of that figure’s life.
In this case, Trump couldn’t pass a 5th-grade history exam with his demonstrated ignorance of the role that Thomas Jefferson played in the founding days of the United States.
Here’s what Trump wrote. See if you can spot the colossal mistake.
If you answered that Thomas Jefferson was not in fact “a principal writer of the Constitution of the United States,” then you are already eminently more qualified to comment on the actions of New York’s City Council than Donald Trump.
Trump’s ignorant bleatings did escape the notice of the denizens of social media who lambasted the entitled ignorance of the disgraced ex-president in a flurry of mocking responses to his statement.
I'm Canadian and fucking knew that.
— Karl Tanner-Just A Broke-Neck Hoople (@magthefrog) October 19, 2021
It’s there to teach people that Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.
— That Guy Angelo (2013 Remake) (@angelozanola) October 19, 2021
And the feed on the Zoom call was really glitchy
— IllumiKnotty (@KnottyIllumi) October 19, 2021
Well, it seems like the folks on Twitter actually paid attention in history class, or at least had access to Google to do their own research, unlike the fact-challenged, twice-impeached former president.
Perhaps Trump should learn that — unless he actually has a semblance of knowledge about a topic — he should simply keep his mouth shut.
Given his declining cognitive functioning that would make for a much quieter and more peaceful world.
We want to hear what YOU have to say. Scroll down and let us know in our comment section!
Please CALL your Senator TODAY @ 202-224-3121. tell them to support the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022.
Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.