Goodwin Compares Election To Surviving The Depression, Winning Civil War, WWII

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Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin stopped by Friday’s CNN This Morning to discuss the results of Tuesday’s election and despite the final results still being unknown, compared them to victory in the Civil War, World War II, and surviving the Great Depression.

Co-host Don Lemon asked Goodwin, “where are we when it comes to our nation, our democracy? Is there– you’re a historian, is—can we look back at a time that gives us hope that we got through the similar—to their stories?”

Goodwin didn’t just have one time in mind, she had three, “Oh, we’ve always gotten through tough times. I mean, I think that’s what history– that’s why I love history so much. I mean, just think of what people who were living through the Civil War felt? What people who were living through the Great Depression felt, what people felt in those early days of World War II when it didn’t look like the Allies and democracy was going to won [sic] and they didn’t know what we know now.”

Apparently, being a cable news presidential historian only requires you to have knowledge of three historical events.

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Continuing, Goodwin explained that, “They didn’t know how the story would end. They didn’t know that the Civil War would end with union restored and emancipation secured. They didn’t know that the Depression would come to an end with the mobilization of war, they didn’t know the Allies would win World War II.”

Taking her pretentious analogies to the next level, Goodwin then compared today’s liberal anxieties with those struggles, “So, they lived with the anxiety we’re coming through now, but we came through each one of those times with greater strength and I think there may have been moment, what we saw in the midterms, where people were voting what they knew was wrong, what they knew was right and there’s still a lot more that has to happen.”

By “a lot” Goodwin meant, “There’s gerrymandering, there’s too much money in politics, there’s the division that’s still there, but finally people got to vote last night.”

As a historian, Goodwin should know that gerrymandering is an outcome that takes its name from Elbridge Gerry, who has been dead since 1814. Not exactly a uniquely 2022 crisis akin to literal wars.

Goodwin also explained, “this was the first time people could vote on what they saw happening with these election deniers and making a central point in this whole election that people who supported the lie should be the people who were voted in, regardless of their experience or anything else, they were put on the ballot, and people said no.” 

As of Goodwin’s appearance, it is still probable Republicans take the House, so not only is Goodwin trivializing what other people went through—on Veterans Day, no less—she may be celebrating prematurely.

This segment was sponsored by Amazon.

Here is a transcript for the November 11 show:

CNN This Morning

11/11/2022

8:46 AM ET

DON LEMON: The simple question is, where are we when it comes to our nation, our democracy? Is there– you’re a historian, is—can we look back at a time that gives us hope that we got through the similar—to their stories?

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: Oh, we’ve always gotten through tough times. I mean, I think that’s what history– that’s why I love history so much. I mean, just think of what people who were living through the Civil War felt? What people who were living through the Great Depression felt, what people felt in those early days of World War II when it didn’t look like the Allies and democracy was going to won [ph] and they didn’t know what we know now.

They didn’t know how the story would end. They didn’t know that the Civil War would end with union restored and emancipation secured. They didn’t know that the Depression would come to an end with the mobilization of war, they didn’t know the Allies would win World War II. 

So, they lived with the anxiety we’re coming through now, but we came through each one of those times with greater strength and I think there may have been moment, what we saw in the midterms, where people were voting what they knew was wrong, what they knew was right and there’s still a lot more that has to happen. 

There’s gerrymandering, there’s too much money in politics, there’s the division that’s still there, but finally people got to vote last night. I thought after January 6th that line in the sand would be drawn and it wasn’t. I still can’t believe that. As a historian, I thought people would say, this is the moment when the chaos ended then I thought it would be last summer when the hearings were so powerful, but this was the first time people could vote on what they saw happening with these election deniers and making a central point in this whole election that people who supported the lie should be the people who were voted in, regardless of their experience or anything else, they were put on the ballot, and people said no. 

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