By John David Dyche
What if Donald Trump had been around throughout American history? It might have gone something like this. The quotations from historical figures below are real. Trump’s responses are what he might have said then based on what he has said now.
Patrick Henry: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Donald Trump: "I just realized that if you listen to Patrick Henry for more than 10 minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. We have zero chance!"
Thomas Jefferson: "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. … A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
Donald Trump: "There’s two King Georges, in a way. You have him as a tyrant. Now that's actually a fairly small part of what he does, but it's a brutal part. I would look at the good aspects of King George III because I'm sure he does some things properly and good, good for colonists, and I would look at that. So we have to look at the positives also for King George."
Nathan Hale: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
Donald Trump: "He's not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured? I like people that weren't captured, OK?"
Henry Clay: "I would rather be right than be President."
Donald Trump: "Henry Clay works really hard but is a guy who just doesn't have it - a total loser!"
Abraham Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."
Donald Trump: "And then you have this guy Abraham Lincoln, a total lightweight. Here's a guy -- in the private sector he couldn't get a job. Believe me. Couldn't get a job. He grew a beard and put on that ridiculous hat so people will think he's smart. And it just doesn't work! You know people can see through the beard and the hat, buddy!"
Abraham Lincoln: "There needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government."
Donald Trump: "I will build the wall around Fort Sumter and the South is going to pay for it and they will be happy to pay for it. And all these other characters say, 'Oh, they won't pay, they won’t pay.' They don't know the first thing about how to negotiate. Trust me, the South will pay."
Susan B. Anthony: "I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand. … The day may be approaching when the whole world will recognize woman as the equal of man."
Donald Trump: "Susan B. Anthony is disgusting -- both inside and out. If you take a look at her, she's a slob. If I were running the National American Woman Suffrage Association I'd look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers and say, 'Susan, you're fired.' Susan is a very unattractive person, both inside and out. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her – wherever."
Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. … I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack … a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire."
Donald Trump: "When did we beat Japan at anything?"
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will … be judged by the content of their character."
Donald Trump: "Here's the good news. I'm very rich. I'm leading in every poll. I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win."
Demagogues past have flashed like fireballs across America's political firmament, but even the briefest prospect of a President Trump is an omen of impending democratic apocalypse.
(John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and a political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.)
Copyright 2015 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.