February 6 may not be St Crispin’s Day, but it will be “remember-ed” along those lines because of what Donald Trump said on that day.
And who he said it to, probably less than a hundred, mostly members of his Party in Congress and his government. And some press.
It will be most remembered, I think, because of who President Trump allowed to sit in on this talk, via live national television, around noon…the American people, who, like me and the Faire Joann “do no work today”, as Shakespeare’s Lord Westmoreland complained on St Crispin’s Day in 1415 at Agincourt, or maybe Knute Rockne’s halftime locker room speech at the 1928 Army game.
It would be almost 200 years before Shakespeare would memorialize Henry V’s speech, and almost a decade after Rockne’s died in a plane crash in 1931 before his locker-room talks would become legend, portrayed by Hollywood in 1940 by Pat O’Brien as the Coach and a young Ronald Reagan as The Gipper.
But Shakespeare knew King Hal’s story because men who actually had been at Agincourt on October 25 actual did strip their sleeves on the anniversary that day and show their friends, “These wounds did I receive on St Crispin’s Day.” That was how popular history was passed on through the generations. (A worthwhile nugget to keep in mind.)
Thus, Ordinary Americans, “we few”, got to be eye-witness to an historical event, from which, perhaps in a decade a new, more enlightened media class will begin to see as having been a turning point in American history.
No media will understand this now, for sure. And precious few historians that I’m personally aware of Larry Schweikart of “Patriot’s History of the United States” fame will. And perhaps Richard Brookhiser, no fan of Donald Trump’s, but with the keenest insights as to how small things in one time period, such as a biography of George Washington written in 1800 could impact History over half a century later, simply because it was read a young boy in a log cabin two decades later, and which shaped him. “Founder’s Son”, was Brookhiser’s biography of Abraham Lincoln.
“A biographer of many of our Founders—I’ve read several—Brookhiser has a sixth sense about the impact such an event as we saw yesterday in the East Room of the White House can have on the shaping of the Republican Party in the generation to come (which I had serious worries of going the same way of the Democratic Party.
If there were seeds of a “Reformation” in America in that locker room speech yesterday, men such as Schweikart and Brookhiser will see it. It even spurred the reappearance of James Wood to Twitter. Check your Twitter feed to note the luminaries who won’t get it.
History has never been a personal witness to such an event…ever.
If you worry that a George HW Bush will be next in line after Donald Trump, thus ending the line, as Bush ended Reagan’s legacy, worry no more. A new classical age could be at hand.
I will go forward with a little extra lift in my step, knowing that Donald Trump is no longer alone. He has a genuine team.