'The worst thing that an American president could ever do': Historian offers scathing indictment of Trump
Former President Donald Trump is no longer in office, but his legacy will have a lasting impact on American politics. Many argue that history will judge him harshly, and one presidential historian has already shared his opinion of the disgraced, twice-impeached former president.
An editorial published by The Atlantic highlights remarks from NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss, who is already offering his take on the Trump presidency while factoring in how the incitement of an insurrection differs vastly from any presidency of the past.
"This is the only president in American history who incited an insurrection against Congress that could have resulted in assassinations and hostage-taking and, conceivably, the cancellation of a free presidential election and the fracturing of a democracy," Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, told me. "That's a fact, and it won't change in 50 years. It's very hard to think of a scenario under which someone might imagine some wonderful thing that Donald Trump did that will outshine that. He did, literally, the worst thing that an American president could ever do."
Beschloss' remarks come as many continue to mull over what Trump's legacy will look like. According to BBC News, multiple historians across the United States have already explained how Trump's history centers on a number of controversial aspects of government.
Matthew Continetti, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who focuses on the evolution of the Republican Party, argues that historians will write about Trump through "the lens of the riot."
"They will focus on Trump's tortured relationship with the alt-right, his atrocious handling of the deadly Charlottesville protest in 2017, the rise in violent right-wing extremism during his tenure in office, and the viral spread of malevolent conspiracy theories that he encouraged," Continetti said.
Kathryn Brownell, a history professor at Purdue University, also noted how Trump may also be remembered for his attempts to test the boundaries of democracy.
"Donald Trump, and his enablers in the Republican Party and conservative media, have put American democracy to the test in an unprecedented way, " Brownell said, adding, "As a historian who studies the intersection of media and the presidency, it is truly striking the ways in which he has convinced millions of people that his fabricated version of events is true."
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