Trumpling all over American history

Gene Weingarten on

WASHINGTON -- We members of the National Fake News Conspiracy had our jollies with President Trump a few weeks ago when, during his July 4 address to the nation, he declared not only that there were airports during the Revolutionary War, but that the Colonial armies had bravely wrested control of them from the Brits. This savage trumpling of history was so dumb, and so funny, that much of the media ridiculed it and then briskly moved on, without dwelling adequately on some of the other bizarre things the president said.

Trump also said that the Continental Army was named after George Washington -- presumably, the "Continental Gen. George Washington Army," just like the equally mellifluous "Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport." Trump also appeared to believe that the defense of Fort McHenry, which he pronounced "McHendery," was during the Revolutionary War, not the War of 1812, and also that it was in fact an assault on the fort, not a defense of it. We hadn't, in fact, "rammed the ramparts" as Trump seemed to say -- those ramparts belonged to us. ("The Star-Spangled Banner," which immortalized the battle, does not end: "O say does that star-spangled banner yet wa-aave? No, we burnt it and sent all its men to the grave.")

Also, the British general Charles Cornwallis was not "of" Yorktown, which is in Virginia and was in fact the place in which the general faced humiliating defeat. Cornwallis was actually born in London's Grosvenor Square, which Trump probably pronounces Grovesner. Trump also declared that the United States took action to "illiberate" the Islamic State -- he apparently meant "obliterate." When I Googled "illiberate" to see if it is even a word, Google asked, "Did you mean illiterate?" We'll just leave it at that.

To me, the takeaway is not that Trump seemed so ignorant, it's that no one seemed to care much. Nor did they care much when it was revealed during the same week that the people in Trump video campaign commercials, giving glowing endorsements and being identified by their first names and cities, were not in fact those people. The people in the ads were stock video footage -- and many weren't even Americans. Again, no real response from the public. Yawn.

This got me thinking: If Trump can reconfigure history at will, if we have basically given him license to do or say anything without consequences -- particularly in this era of CGI and other creative trickery -- he will know no limits.

He can, for example, go into the National Archives, find the Constitution and edit the 22nd Amendment with a Sharpie to allow the president "up to 12" four-year terms in office. Then he will initial it, so it'll be legal.



He can unkill Osama bin Laden, then tout his great friendship with him. "Obama couldn't even get a meeting with the guy. Tried for years."

He can announce next year's July Fourth concert, featuring the "1812 Overture" conducted by Tchaikovsky himself! It'll get great publicity, and everyone will forget the promise by next year because of how thrilled they will be over his next promise: The real Santa Claus, in a sleigh on the Mall, at Christmas!

He can issue an executive order dissolving the marriage of Kellyanne and George Conway.


swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Doonesbury David M. Hitch Darrin Bell Jeff Danziger Wee Pals Dennis the Menace