Liberal presidential historian and former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham was the guest at the end of Tuesday’s The View, where he fulfilled his duty in bashing President Trump in hyperbolic terms, something the anti-Trump hosts could appreciate.
Hawking his new book on the media’s latest favorite topic, “civility,” he complained that Trump was taking the country back to the times of the Ku Klux Klan, appealing to America’s “worst instincts” of “grievance and white nostalgia.”
Co-host Meghan McCain began the interview asking for his opinion on the latest Supreme Court ruling upholding the travel ban. Meacham griped he wasn’t surprised because Republicans “sold their souls” for Gorsuch’s seat by voting for Trump. Joy Behar picked up on that and wondered how Trump’s “fear of the other” was appealing to Americans.
“It's working because it's always worked to some extent. I don't like it when people say that isn't America because that lets us off the hook. What President Trump is the most vivid manifestation of some of our worst instincts,” Meacham ranted, as the audience applauded eagerly.
He continued, calling Trump’s policies a regression to the times of rampant racism:
What I think is the fear of the other, the paranoid style, the idea there's a conspiracy that immigrants are coming. In the 1920s, We had 50,000 Klans men walk down Pennsylvania Avenue without wearing masks. There were 3-5 million members of the klan not over 100 years ago. When people say we were hijacked, we weren't. We were pushed back. And to some extent what the president is governing on is a politics of grievance and white nostalgia.
Meacham went on to boast that if he had “three minutes” with President Trump, (beyond his “attention span,” he snarked), that he would appeal to what legacy he wanted to leave behind. He explained how FDR was first known for the New Deal rather than Japanese internment camps, as an example of how Trump could change his image.
Asked about what he thought about Sarah Sanders being refused service at a Virginia restaurant, Meacham justified the rude treatment, saying that the Trump Administration set the example for bullying so they deserved it.
“I think you reap what you sow...what we have now is a bully and chief,” he rationalized.
“And those who apologize for him,” Sunny Hostin added smugly. Meacham agreed, saying that being civil to your enemies is just too hard for most people.
“Exactly. I know we're supposed to turn the other cheek. That's what Jesus said. But there's a reason there's only one Jesus,” he joked.