Among the many reasons the often-quoted (and misquoted) Mark Twain remains such an important figure in American culture today is the continuing relevance of his commentary on American politics and public policy. Twain wrote in 1908, “History repeats itself; whatever has been the rule in history may be depended upon to be the rule.” The author does not, and will not, attempt to say what Twain might think or say about President Trump. That speculation is left to the reader, but what Twain had to say about American politics and governance helps explain how and why Trump was elected and offers guidance in critiquing his presidency.

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