Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

At this point in his presidency, Donald Trump’s ego is coming into conflict with the lack of any actual accomplishments. In order to sustain his delusions about himself, he is becoming increasingly untethered from reality. We see that as he continues to obsess about his “historic win” over three months ago and his claim that he has accomplished more than previous presidents in such a short amount of time.

But in a couple of interviews lately, the delusions fed by Trump’s own ignorance are quite astounding. When the topic of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict came up in his discussion with Reuters last week, the president said this:

“I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” he said. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians – none whatsoever.”

The implication is that everyone who has worked on peace in the Middle East over the last several decades — including U.S. presidents dating back to LBJ — was simply unaware of the fact that this was a relatively easy problem to solve. Or perhaps none of them had the exemplary deal-making skills that our current president possesses. Either way, that is nothing short of a delusion based on ignorance.

Today’s example is even more disturbing. Here’s what he said in an interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito.

I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. 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, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

First of all, a middle school American history class would clarify that Andrew Jackson died in 1845 and the Civil War was fought from 1861-1865. In other words, he had been dead for over 15 years by the time the war broke out, so he didn’t see “what was happening with regard to the Civil War.”

Beyond that, there is a reason why people don’t ask the question about why there was a Civil War. It’s because the rest of us know why it happened…slavery. Once again, this is a topic that is covered in most middle school American history classes.

Frankly, I doubt that Donald Trump spent a minute thinking about American history before he decided to run for president. This line of thinking has all the markings of being something that people like Steve Bannon — who seems to worship Andrew Jackson — are whispering in his ear. As such, it appears to be an attempt to elevate Jackson over the president most historians rate as the best in our history, Abraham Lincoln. After all, if Lincoln had possessed the deal-making skills of a Trump or Jackson, that whole messy Civil War could have been avoided. Never mind that he had been forced to defend the Union when the South chose to secede over the question of slavery. Certainly something could have been worked out to accommodate the slave states, right?

An adult actually saying that there is no reason the world hasn’t been able to implement peace in the Middle East or that the conflict that led to the Civil War could have been worked out is the kind of thing you expect to hear from the idiot at the end of the bar who has had too much to drink. But this is coming from the President of the United States, who can’t even negotiate peace between the factions among his own White House staff.  The level of ignorance and delusion we’re witnessing only seems to be growing as the abject failures mount.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.