Trump: General Robert E. Lee was a great general

Trump was trying to defend his Charlottesville comments, and ended up making it worse. Now he’s going to have to defend, if he really believes a general who betrayed the United States should be considered “great”.

Bad rabbit hole for him to step into, but at the same time, I am actually going to defend him here. And for me, to defend Trump is a bit of an anomaly.

Obviously, we have to define what the word “great” means.

Trump never said (or perhaps maybe someday) Robert E. Lee was an American hero or a “great man”, but that his general skills were above average. Somebody can be a great piano player for example, and be a rotten person and anti-American. I believe Trump’s generals, whether imaginary or not (I vote for imaginary btw), may have said that his skills during the Mexican-American War made him a great general. But at the same time, would Trump be willing to agree that Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein were great dictators. That’s obviously a moral and perhaps semantic question.

While I do agree that his statement is technically correct, but it’s not something that most people would consider to be “great”. They assume the word “great” = “hero”. Robert E. Lee was no hero. He betrayed the United States.

Am I wrong on this?

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So trump likes generals who surrender?


Looks like fat donald admires generals who are also traitors.

Not everybody who is captured is bad.

And slave owners

It’s complicated. In Lee’s opinion he was being a loyal Virginian.

Prior to the Civil War people saw the United States as a confederation of independent states, not as a single country.

I will agree with you there. I am pretty sure, he is going to walk back his comments, because he praises a general who betrayed the United States and killed thousands of Americans.

He is going to have to define what “great” means. If he believes great = hero, then his comments are bad. But if he’s going to consider Mao a great dictator, but a horrible person, then he might be correct.

Calvin, you’re a great poster, but you give him too much credit.

I could see giving him that kind of credit if I thought he had studied the issues of the war, had made himself knowledgeable in the tactics of Lee, had the nuance to be able to separate the work of the general compared to his obvious traitorous acts.

But he’s just a stupid blowhard moron who probably doesn’t know the first thing about the Civil War other than the basic simplicity any 3rd grader knows.


He’s not going to walk it back.

And if your state decided to become a foreign country and attack fellow Americans, you would be all for defending your state, right?

When people say he was defending his state, what they really mean, he was defending Virginia’s right to discriminate against black people and slavery. That’s a hard thing for people to legitimately defend.


What I don’t get is that he says that he has talked to many generals at the White House and then says that many people have said that he was their favorite general. So why the comment about the generals in the WH?

As I stated in another thread, fat donald is the heavyweight champion of dog whistlers because that’s what this is.


I try to be fair to people and assume the best for everybody. It’s true that he got Andrew Jackson totally wrong. So maybe I shouldn’t assume that Trump can separate “great person” and “great general”.

Trumps winks and nods at the racist deplorable incel alt-right losers in his base all the time. It’s no accident and he won’t walk it back.

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Still… in 2019, we can easily make a moral decision as to whether or not people who fought to preserve chattel slavery deserve to have a place of honor in our cities and parks.

In terms of military strategy and knowledge yes, Lee was a great general.


As I said, it’s complicated. When the Civil War started, the United States was a plural, after the war it was a singular.

Applying today’s standards to a time 150 years ago is difficult.

Lee was standing up for his home, as he saw it. Slavery was surely part of it but I do not believe it was his primary consideration.

I am not defending the fact that he was a slave owner, but he acted honorably as he understood it.

I agree, his statues belong in museums, not on public land.

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Lee was America’s Rommel.


Interesting analogy.

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