Before we get to our very special guest author today, a quick look at the latest politics news:
- President Donald Trump heads to Alamo, Texas, to tout his accomplishments on the border wall and his fight to curb illegal immigration — a trip the AP calls “a symbol of the president’s defiance.”
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi instructs members to return to Washington tonight and plans to take up impeachment at 9 a.m. Wednesday. POLITICO’s Congress team has the details.
- Some 15,000 National Guard troops are flooding into D.C. in preparation for inauguration protests, and “the F.B.I. has notified local law enforcement of the potential for armed protests in all 50 state capitals, organized and promoted by far-right extremist groups,” per NYT.
And now over to today’s writer, the legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, for a 10-hour, multi-episode edition of Playbook. (We kid.) …
I’m repeatedly asked whether I will make a film about this moment in time. The answer is no — or at least not now.
I’m in the business of history. So rather than 16 hours on Trump, who has only appeared in passing in one of our films (calling for the execution of five innocent young men in “The Central Park Five”), the editors of POLITICO have allowed me to share some thoughts — and film clips — on how I think history can help us in this, our moment of crisis.
There is a scene in our film on the Roosevelts that I’ve been thinking about while watching recent events unfold. “This is the second dedication,” President FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT declared, head tilted up, confident grin in place, as he presided at the dedication of the Jefferson sculpture at Mount Rushmore in 1936.
“I think that we can perhaps meditate a little on those Americans 10,000 years from now,” the president said.