Legendary Filmmaker Ken Burns Says Right Now One of the Worst Times In U.S. History: ‘Equal’ To Civil War

Ken Burns Says Right Now One of the Worst Times In U.S. History: ‘Equal’ To Civil War

Renowned historian and documentarian Ken Burns recently said that this moment in American history is one of the worst times the country has gone through, including the Civil War.

In fact, tensions and animosity in the country right now are “equal” to the Civil War, to Burns’ thinking.

Burns made his comments during a Monday interview on the “SmartLess” podcast, a show hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes.

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Ken Burns Warns Of Great Crisis

Burns, though a Democrat, has produced some of the country’s most well-regarded documentaries – including The Civil War, Baseball, and The Vietnam War.

The discussion led to making comparisons to some of the most trying times in U.S. history, with the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II all being brought up.

When Burns was asked about where he thought America was headed in the future, he gave an ominous answer.

“It’s really serious,” Burns insisted. “There are three great crises before this: the Civil War, the Depression, and World War II.”

“This is equal to it,” Burns warned.

Burns thought it helpful to the conversation to to include a quote from Abraham Lincoln. His quote came from a 1938 speech delivered by the 16th president in Springfield, Illinois.

“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger?” Lincoln said at the time. “Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never.”

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Burns: ‘We’re Looking Right Down The Muzzle Of That Gun’

Lincoln continued, “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.”

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“No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher” Lincoln warned. “As a nation of free men, we will live forever or die by suicide.”

After reading Lincoln’s warning from 183 years ago, Burns said, “We’re looking right down the muzzle of that gun.”

In the middle of July, a YouGov poll found that 37% of Americans indicated a ‘willingness to secede’ from the United States. 

The poll found very interesting results. Among those who support secession:

  • 43% of Independents in the Midwest
  • 47% of Democrats on the West Coast
  • 39% of Democrats on the Northeast
  • 43% of Republicans in the Mountain states
  • 66% of Republicans in the South


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is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He... More about John Hanson

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