Historian Jon Meacham: Trump ‘Wants It to Be 1955’

Historian Jon Meacham: Trump ‘Wants It to Be 1955’

Presidential historian Jon Meacham criticized President Donald Trump on Tuesday for his desire to roll back the clock to the 1950s. Meacham told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that former Vice President Joe Biden was more of a 1960’s figure.

“But one of the things we have to figure out is we have two big tributaries of American life,” Meacham said. “We have John Lewis and the work of the Civil Rights movement, and the work of 1960s, Gene [Robinson] mentioned another founding.”

“Absolutely right. We live in the country that 1965 brought about both because of the Voting Rights Act and because the immigration act of that year. And so that’s created the demography where we are now. But then we have a president of the United States who has embraced superstition and prejudice and the worst parts of the American character as a reaction to that country.”

“And so, we have a very clear choice here. Politics doesn’t often do this. Politicians always say it does, right, I’m sure you didn’t, but most politicians say, this is the most important election since X or Y, if you don’t elect me to the school board, everyone’s gonna be ignorant forever. If you don’t make me president, the country’s gonna fall into an abyss. This is pretty much that.”

“I don’t think you can be too hyperbolic about the stakes of the election. It’s not about what Joe Biden and Donald Trump but it is about what they represent.”

“Joe Biden is a figure, as a friend of mine likes to point out, out of 1965,”Meacham said. “He wants a Great Society, he wants to sign big legislation. That may terrify some people but it helped the country in many ways and you just have to be smart about it. Donald Trump wants it to be 1955. Right? He wants a reaction to this changing demographic reality.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Political Media Editor