Attention must be paid: The presidential historian, Lincoln scholar and prolific author Richard Striner, longtime professor at Washington College, served as a senior writer and advisor to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. In fact, Striner and Louis Galambos, professor emeritus of Johns Hopkins University, were among scholars who recommended Eisenhower quotes for inscription in the stone memorial at the base of Capitol Hill. The memorial’s dedication is Sept. 16.
Striner, whose latest book on Lincoln was published in June, writes frequently for the History News Network. (In this essay, he answers the question: Is Donald Trump the worst president in history?) Striner had been a guest several times on my radio program on WYPR and, more recently, on my Roughly Speaking podcast at The Baltimore Sun. Erudite and pithy, Striner was always an engaging and provocative guest, and he pulled no punches when it came to the 45th president.
That was the case this week when, while preparing my Wednesday column for The Sun, I asked him for a comment about the surreal confluence of Trump’s presidency and the dedication of a memorial to a general and president from a time when the nation enjoyed mature leadership in its Commander-in-Chief. Here it is:
“It’s bitterly ironic that this memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower, a paragon of decency who united Americans, is dedicated amid the nightmare of Donald Trump, a predatory freak who spreads hatred wherever he goes and who likes nothing better than to hurt people. Thank God that Dwight D. Eisenhower never lived to see this.”