When you think of great expectations, the novel by Charles Dickens may come to mind, but lately, the phrase applies to Trump. Last week, he said he’s ready for Mount Rushmore. This week he’s up for a Pennsylvania Avenue parade. What prompts all this sense of entitlement? A report by Yahoo! was used as a reference for this article.

Bragging rights

He told a gathering of Republican congressmen that Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah let him know he’s the “greatest president in the history of our country” - you know, in the order of Lincoln and Washington. Except that’s not exactly what Hatch said.

The senator’s spokesman told the press what he really said was that Trump “can be” the greatest - not “is.” Likely The President would see that as a distinction without a difference.

Carved in stone

But there is a distinct difference between Trump’s yen for a parade and his portrait carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore. And while it’s preposterous to even contemplate his face alongside those of Washington and Jefferson, Trump has more connection to the National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota than to a cavalcade of killing machines that he wants to see in the streets of Washington (I rush to say, however, that it’s better to let Trump play soldier and do battle Kim Jong Un on parade grounds).

In the record books

But Trump’s link to the South Dakota project lies in history according to a Smithsonian Magazine report in 2016 titled “the sordid history of Mount Rushmore.” As noted, the sculptor credited for the project, Gutzon Borglum, was a white supremacist. Borglum aligned himself with the Ku Klux Klan, particularly with Grand Dragon D.C.

Stephenson. The two exchanged letters about Nordic moral superiority. In letters, he fretted about a “mongrel horde” overrunning “Nordic” purity and once said, “I would not trust an Indian, off-hand, 9 out of 10, where I would not trust a white man 1 out of 10.” Doesn’t that sound like something Trump would say?

Whitewashing America

The Klan helped pay for the Rushmore portraits. Borglum, who died in 1941, was not only a lifetime member of the Klan, he is also said to have been deeply involved in Klan politics and an active member of the Imperial Koncilium – a group of high-ranking Klansmen in charge of the Imperial Wizards. If you’re wondering how a racist would choose to chisel into a mountain of granite a 60-foot portrait of a president who freed black slaves, all I can come up with is that Lincoln met a minimum requirement: He was white.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest of them all?

Borglum reportedly picked Washington for getting the country started, Jefferson for the Louisiana Purchase, Roosevelt for the Panama Canal, and Lincoln for preserving the Union. What’s Trump’s claim to fame – bragging? As he told Republican members of Congress of his work so far, “That was one of the greatest years in the history of politics.”