Historian: What would Founding Fathers think of Donald Trump

Story highlights

  • Joseph J. Ellis: We wonder what Founding Fathers would have thought about Trump
  • The question is irresistible -- but misguided, Ellis says
  • He asks if Founders could have handled a female or African-American president?

Joseph J. Ellis is the author of many works of American history, including the Pulitzer Prize winner "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation" and "American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson," which won the National Book Award. His most recent book, "The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution," is out in paperback from Vintage Books. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Question: What would the Founding Fathers think of Donald Trump?

This is a loaded one, designed to elicit a comparison between now and then that contrasts the debased currency of our current politics with the gold standard of the founding generation.
Joseph J. Ellis
The editors of The New Yorker have already answered the question with