Donald Trump is more like Jefferson Davis than Benito Mussolin, says USC historian Steve Ross

Historians in the News
tags: election 2016, Jefferson Davis, Trump



Despite everyone calling him a fascist, Donald Trump may have more in common with Jefferson Davis than he does with Benito Mussolini.

“What we’re seeing [with Trump’s rise] is what I would call the second Civil War,” Steve Ross, a history professor at the University of Southern California, told The Huffington Post.

It’s not that all of Trump’s supporters want to own slaves or secede from the United States. But they can see their political clout disappearing, and are responding by supporting an extremist movement.

“In 1860, Abraham Lincoln wins the presidential election and for the first time in American history a president can get elected without getting a single electoral vote from the South,” Ross said.

Southerners could see the writing on the wall: a future in which the North could keep electing presidents without them, and eventually outlaw slavery — either through Congress or the Supreme Court. So Southern states seceded from the union, launching what Ross and other historians have termed a “pre-emptive counter-revolution.” Looking at demographic trends today, Ross sees some white voters are making a similar calculation.

“What you have is the kind of pre-emptive anger of a certain part of the white population that understands within the next decade or two, Anglo-WASP America — white Anglo-Saxon America — is going to be a minority in this country,” Ross said. “And they’re angry about that. And so Trump is the leader, he’s the Jefferson Davis of his own time.” ...





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