After a two-and-a-half hour elocution by the acclaimed orator Edward Everett, President Donald Trump, 16th president of the United States, approaches the podium to give his reflections on the meaning of the Civil War, now in its third year. Although invited as an afterthought, his words will go down in history as one of the greatest speeches in ... well, maybe not.
Phew! Long speech by Everett huh? We got the point an hour ago, Ed. Look at him, he knows I'm joking. I get along great with Ed. He was at my last wedding.
Wow this is really really special! Lemme tell ya, I guarantee little Georgey McClellan couldn't fill up half this cemetery. The guy's got no energy. Zero. And when he was a general...forget about it. The Peninsula? Antietam? Valley Forge? That was him too, right? He was a disaster! I'm even beating him in the polls in New Jersey! His own state. You believe that?
Take a look at this crowd! Brady get a shot of this. Just move Grant out of the way for second. I mean, we got people standing all the way outside the Evergreen gate house there by the cannons.
You know, a couple weeks ago I got a letter from Gov. Curtin--thank you for that wonderful endorsement, Andy--and he said I think what you're doing with this whole restoring the Union thing, it's really amazing what's going on, whether its momentum or a movement or just a lot of gunpowder, whatever. It's been on the cover of Harper's Weekly, The Chicago Times you name it. And he asked me, he said "Donald can you come up and say a few appropriate remarks for this thing we got going on at Gettysburg" and I said I'd love to. I love Pennsylvania!
Ok. So here's my speech. What was it? About 40, 50 years ago, something like that, a group of amazingly talented people got together to form a new nation from scratch. I mean this was a HUGE deal. The most brilliant people in the history of the world ever; they built a terrific country on an idea that people are people. And believe me, they weren't chumps. They said Britain is eating our lunch on trade. They're laughing at us. It's a disaster! We gotta do something really really big!
They thought you should be free to start really terrific businesses...and get really, really rich. Like me. I'm really rich by the way.
All these rights they said comes from God and I don't know but, hey, listen I gotta tell ya, I love the religious people. I do really well with Evangelicals. I even poll well with Southern Baptists if you can believe it.
But now, now we got these bad people down South who think we're pushovers. That we're just gonna let 'em keep on doing whatever they want and get away with it.
Are they serious? Secede from the Union? C'mon fellas get real!
I mean look around you. Just look at this gorgeous cemetery. I build really great cemeteries, don't I? Why would you want to leave America? They're so stupid. Oh, you like the wall we built around this whole place? Well, guess what. I'm gonna make the Confederates pay for it!
I dunno, I guess they're just ingrates, the Rebels. Really terrible people. Hey, I just built the Trump Iron Works and Casino in Atlanta. They should be on their knees thanking me!
[Heckling and Shouting]
There they are. Hello darlings. I know. It's sad isn't? Meade, get 'em outta here. Go home to Mommy and Daddy's plantation! Bye-bye.-- No, no put the sabers down, fellas. Be gentle. Well, you can nick 'em a little.
Boy, the Rebels say really nasty things about me don't they? And you know what? I bet tomorrow all the lying press says about this speech, 10,000 people here remember and they're still coming in -- all they're gonna say is 'Protesters stump Trump at Gettysburg.' But we don't care do we? Ah, the Copperheads are losers anyway. The worst. Good luck with that whole habeas corpus thing. They're in for a rude surprise down at the jailhouse aren't they?
[Applause and Laughter]
And did you hear what they were shouting? It's okay. Sure I gave money to Jeff Davis when he ran for the senate. He's a nice guy, Jeff. A bad beard but...
Am I right? You see his beard? He's got a caterpillar crawling on his chin. It's a disaster. And okay, I even traded a few slaves with Nate Forrest in my day. Look, I'm a businessman. I gotta get along with everybody. That's why I know I'll negotiate a phenomenal Reconstruction deal after we win this thing. And trust me, Davis, Stephens and that whole Copperhead crowd up here too?
They got a lot to hide!
Anyway, so we're here to dedicate this terrific Trump Cemetery built by the wonderful people of Gettysburg. I employ a lot of people in this town. They love me here.
[More Wild Applause]
But let's get serious for a moment folks. No one cares what I say here. No really! This isn't about me. It's bigger than me. This whole preserving the Union and ending slavery thing--Blacks love me too by the way. I think the slaves are wonderful people! This Civil War thing is HUGE! We've got a million guys in blue down South now. And they're doing terrific things every day. They're really great, the soldiers. [Applause] Yes! I love the military! Let's hear it for the Union Army. Aren't they terrific? So are the guys buried here. They're what matter!
So you know what? I promise you this. Okay. I promise you this. These guys' sacrifices, the veterans, the dead guys, I'm tellin' ya, it's all gonna mean something by the time we're through. That's what this is all about. We're gonna make America One Again and its gonna be even better than before this whole mess! For them and for the good of the people. My people! Trust me, we're not going anywhere! And neither is this country club---country! Country! And we're gonna win and win bigger than anyone's ever won anything! 'Cause only big fat losers lose!
Andy, get the carriage.
Brad Schaeffer is an energy broker, columnist, historian and author of the World War II novel "Hummel's Cross" about a Luftwaffe flying ace who saves a family of Jews during the height of the air war over Europe. Drop him a note at: shafemans@yahoo.
Feature Image: Creative Commons user Pablo Sanchez
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