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Donald Trump, airport, rally, Goodyear, AZ
Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, AZ. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

Whenever actual knowledge of a subject is required, Donald Trump has lots to say but little to contribute.

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— OPINION —

The Gettysburg Address of Abraham Lincoln, the country’s first Republican president, is one of the most iconic speeches in US history, and every American has likely read it at some point. On Sunday, Donald Trump, who might just be the last GOP president if he keeps moving the party to the far right, went to Schnecksville, another small Pennsylvania town, to deliver his own address. 

Like Lincoln’s speech, it was quite the thing to witness. Unlike Lincoln’s speech, however, this wasn’t a good thing. 

In three minutes and 243 words, standing on the site of the battle that helped turn the tide in the Civil War, Lincoln managed to define America’s purpose.

It took Trump much longer, and many more words, to once again sound like a complete moron. 

The starkest example might have been when he talked about the battle of Gettysburg and its significance. 

I mean, it was so much and so interesting and so vicious and horrible and so beautiful in so many different ways, it represented such a big portion of the success of this country. Gettysburg, wow. — Former President Donald Trump

Here, he sounded like an unprepared 8th grader after a school trip to the battlefield, who, instead of having listened to the guide, spent the day lifting up the skirts of his classmates but is now asked to make a presentation on what he has learned — and all he remembered was that the Confederate troops had to fight uphill. 

To do this rambling mess justice, here are Trump’s own words (and, if you are keeping score, he used 133 words, only 110 fewer than Lincoln):

The union was saved by the immortal heroes at Gettysburg. Gettysburg, what an unbelievable battle that was, the Battle of Gettysburg, what an unbelievable… I mean, it was so much and so interesting and so vicious and horrible and so beautiful in so many different ways, it represented such a big portion of the success of this country. Gettysburg, wow. I go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to look and to watch, and, uh, the statement of Robert E. Lee — who is no longer in favor, did you ever notice that, no longer in favor — “Never fight uphill, me boys, never fight uphill.” They were fighting uphill, he said, “Wow, that was a big mistake,” he lost his great general, and, uh, they were fighting. “Never fight uphill, me boys!” But it was too late.  

Of course, Trump didn’t just talk about the Battle of Gettysburg. He also told a lot of lies and tried to gaslight the adoring crowd into believing that he was the greatest president in history (granted, the adoring crowd did not need much gaslighting to be convinced this was true). 

In the past, Trump has often compared himself to the first Republican president, and, when he introduced some nonfungible tokens in 2022 that he hoped to hawk to his adoring fans, Trump said: “Hello, everyone, this is Donald Trump, hopefully your favorite president of all time — better than Lincoln, better than Washington.”

If the measure of the greatest president is the number of indictments, then he is certainly right because neither Lincoln, nor any other president, was ever indicted at all. 

Speaking of, Trump didn’t just give his learned opinion of the Battle of Gettysburg; he also found the time to extensively criticize the judge and the prosecutor in his New York hush money trial, which begins today.

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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