Four years ago, leftists mocked then-President Donald Trump for suggesting founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson would fall victim to cancel culture. On Monday, his prediction came true.
In 2017, Trump said he suspected the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, would lead to more woke cancellations in the future, The New York Times reported.
Trump was ridiculed for the suggestion by reporters and historians alike. Yet on Monday, according to the New York Post, the 884-pound statue of Jefferson that stood in New York’s City Hall for 187 years was removed.
The move came after a mayoral commission voted to take down the statue because Jefferson owned slaves.
The reasoning for the statue’s removal comes as no surprise to those who listened in on the 45th president’s 2017 news conference, where Trump was infamously accused of defending white supremacists because he dared to say not every right-leaning person in Charlottesville that day had racist motives.
“You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the re-naming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name,” Trump said.
President Trump was also right about Thomas Jefferson's statue when he said that the communist Islamist mobs are planing to erase the American history.pic.twitter.com/Uof15tHb4t https://t.co/R2mB6wgyeT
— Iranian American (@IranLionness) November 23, 2021
The reporters there promptly jumped on Trump and said his argument did not hold weight because Robert E. Lee owned slaves. It was at that point that Trump predicted George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be canceled.
“George Washington was a slave owner … so will George Washington now lose his status?” he said.
“How about Thomas Jefferson … are we going to take down the statue, ’cause he was a major slave owner? Now are we gonna take down his statue?”
At a different point during the news conference, Trump summed up his argument and issued a prediction.
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down,” he said. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, ‘Where does it stop?’”
On taking down Confederate Statues, Trump says, "I wonder, is it George Washington next week and Thomas Jefferson the week after?" pic.twitter.com/lXrOJ3iunA
— David Mack (@davidmackau) August 15, 2017
At the time, multiple mainstream outlets mocked Trump’s suggestion. The Times cited multiple historians in an attempt to discount the prediction.
Yale history professor John Fabian Witt said Trump’s suggestion that Jefferson and Washington statues would be taken down was a “red herring.”
The Washington Post published a similar article in which Douglas Blackmon, a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, suggested Jefferson would not be demonized because his accomplishments were more significant than those of Confederate leaders.
“It’s the difference between a monument to the founder of our nation, and a monument to a key figure in an effort to break apart the nation,” Blackmon said.
“The most kind explanation of that can only be ignorance, and I don’t say that to insult the president.”
George Washington University history professor Denver Brunsman added that while Jefferson’s views of slavery were controversial, Americans realized those views do not “take away from the universal language of freedom that he provided us in the Declaration of Independence.”
Even late night host John Oliver made light of Trump’s comments, though he failed to actually rebut the point Trump was making.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some readers will find offensive.
2017: "Comedian" John Oliver mocking President Trump for suggesting statues of Washington and Jefferson would be next.
Today: Thomas Jefferson statue removed from City Hall after 187 years. pic.twitter.com/7MPjQIq1wB
— Silent Majority (@PatrioticCougar) November 23, 2021
That was a master-class in “avoiding the question” from Oliver, but his point remains the same as the Post and the Times. Each of these outlets implied Trump was being ridiculous by suggesting statues of Washington and Jefferson would be taken down.
Fast forward to Monday, and Trump’s prediction came true after just four years.
The removal of the statue of Jefferson from New York’s City Hall after 187 years is disheartening but not surprising.
This incident is yet another example of the radical shift to the political left that progressives have made. It took just four years for leftists to go from mocking Trump to taking the exact action he predicted they would, and they are not stopping any time soon.