Trump knows practically nothing about American history, cares even less and displays his ignorance breezily. He is amazed to learn that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. (“A lot of people don’t know that.”) He asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” Nothing makes the case for overhauling our teaching of basic U.S. history and civics like the 45th president.
Trump describes history as a saga of heroes and villains, good vs. evil, pure and simple. The United States is the embodiment of good, “the most exceptional nation in the history of the world,” he said last week, whatever that means. Studying history is supposed to instill love of country. But today, he warns, the good and the love are under attack from evil radical leftists, “aided and abetted by liberal politicians” including, of course, Joe Biden. American history, in short, instructs us to