It’s a scary time we’re living in when a sitting president calls neo-Nazis “good people” and openly praises the slaveholding Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the state where Ulysses S. Grant was born.
At a rally Friday night in Lebanon, OH, a state that belonged to the Union during the Civil War, Donald Trump ad-libbed some revisionist history about the war, praising Lee as a “great general.” His comments followed shortly after he took credit once again for African American employment numbers and urged black voters to abandon the Democratic Party.
But rather than booing the president off the stage—which is what would have happened in so-called “normal” times—the crowd of about 4,000 Trump fans cheered. Nothing says “MAGA” quite like rallying around the losing side of a civil war your own people fought against. But as The Washington Post points out, the event was held in Warren County, which “has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in over half a century.”
If a civil war happened today, it’s pretty clear which side these idiots would be supporting. Take that, libs!
“So Robert E. Lee was a great general,” Trump said, “and Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee. He was going crazy. I don’t know if you know this story. But Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle, and Abraham Lincoln came home, he said, ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee.’”
Trump continued: “And he had all of these generals. They looked great. They were the top of their class at West Point. They were the greatest people. There’s only one problem: They didn’t know how the hell to win. They didn’t know how to fight. They didn’t know how.”
In Trump’s convoluted brain, he was attempting to pay homage to Grant by saying he saved Lincoln from imminent defeat by Lee. But Trump’s brain also is racist, and the president couldn’t stop himself from openly admiring a man who fought a war to uphold the institution of slavery in the United States.
“Robert E. Lee was a slaveholder who led an armed rebellion against the United States to keep people enslaved. By calling him an ‘incredible general,’ President Trump is making a direct appeal to the politics of resentment,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement.
“This is the kind of revisionist history that has kept Jim Crow alive in the South for more than 150 years. There is no reason to praise a Confederate general at a political rally other than to fan the flames of hate,” the SPLC added.
Twitter users also piled on the president over his statements: