A year ago, according to a Politico report, Donald Trump took a guided tour of our first President George Washington’s estate, the legendary Mount Vernon, while French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte were visiting the United States. That’s an excursion that literally anyone interested even a tiny bit in American history would be proud to take, but apparently the junket of our nation’s revolutionary roots left President Trump nonplussed.
That’s not really a huge surprise, given Trump’s uninquisitive nature and belief that his legacy as President will historically be more impressive than any other American executive’s. What was a surprise, said Doug Bradburn — the CEO of Mount Vernon and the guide for the leaders’ tour — were Trump’s “bizarre” complaints about the estate, and the fact that the Macrons seemed to be “far more knowledgable” about the historic property than Trump was.
In fact, said one source who witnessed the whole affair, Bradburn — that’s Dr. Bradburn, Professor of History — was trying “desperately” to maintain Trump’s interest during the 45-minute deluxe tour of the grounds. To that end, he tried to pique Trump’s curiosity by appealing to the President’s own personal connections with Washington: He was essentially a really, really rich real estate magnate, much like a certain flaxen-haired occupier of the Oval Office Trump might recognize from his many trips past a bathroom mirror.
If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it. You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”
That was Trump’s reply upon learning that the name Mount Vernon was actually chosen by Washington when the house was built out from a small one and a half story home into a palatial 11,000 square foot mansion. Surely Trump can see that history doesn’t bear out his fear of being forgotten by not plastering one’s name in 2-foot high gold lettering, at least when it comes to the nation’s first leader.
As a humble resident of Mount Vernon, Washington (state), a beautiful town with a storied history that only begins with being named for the Father of our Country’s home, I can certainly understand the frustration Bradburn felt as he was forced to explain to Trump that George at least succeeded in having the nation’s capital named for him.
But perhaps the perfect passage from the Politico report on the visit, the one that most encapsulates what observers of Donald Trump might expect to read about such a tour, is this:
The rooms, Trump said, were too small, the staircases too narrow, and he even spotted some unevenness in the floorboards, according to four sources briefed on his comments. He could have built the place better, he said, and for less money.”
Undoubtedly Mount Trump would also sport considerably more gold furniture and self-portraits.
Featured image via screen capture