(USA Features) Historian and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns says that the United States is currently going through one of its worst periods similar to some of the most horrific, deadly points in the country’s history.
“It’s really serious. There are three great crises before this: the Civil War, the Depression, and World War II. This is equal to it,” he said on the “SmartLess” podcast, which is hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes.
Burns went on to quote a young Abraham Lincoln, who said in 1838:
From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we will live forever or die by suicide.
“We’re looking right down the muzzle of that gun,” Burns said.
The historian wrote a January 2021 article for Politico that he believes the U.S. is experiencing its “fourth” great crisis, comparing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who led the country through World War II, to President Donald Trump.
“He had come a long way — and would go further. He would expertly manage two of the four greatest crises in American history, the Depression and the Second World War (Lincoln, the president just beginning to emerge on Mount Rushmore when FDR visited in 1936, had handled the worst, the Civil War),” Burns noted in Politico.