With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Trump's Snub Over Obama Portrait is Part of a Plan


Trump presides over the highest unemployment rate of the last 80 years -- more than 20% -- and knows that a deep economic recession in the election year was politically fatal the last three times that incumbent presidents -- Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush -- were voted out of office.

The President knows he is holding a losing hand, trailing Democrat Joe Biden in national polls and in swing states that Trump carried four years ago, including ArizonaFlorida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

So it's back to basics for a man whose political career, let us remember, was based on the lie of birtherism -- the conspiracy theory, constantly promoted by Trump, that Obama was born in Africa and never legitimately elected.

Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates nailed it in a PBS documentary. "There was a shocking amount of resentment that a black family had been in the White House for two terms," he said. "I think it would be naive to overlook it -- the irony that one of the legacies of Obama's presidency was an enormous amount of resentment."

Sadly, it never takes much to stoke the embers of racial resentment and hatred in this country. But that is Trump's strategy. He's playing the race card because he's holding a weak political hand.

Read entire article at CNN