That’s no exaggeration. If you need evidence that the nation is about to relitigate the Civil War, look not at the kudos the president is receiving this morning from conservative journalists who watched his powerful and moving speech last night. Look instead at the New York Times’s reaction to the speech:
Standing in a packed amphitheater in front of Mount Rushmore for an Independence Day celebration, President Trump delivered a dark and divisive speech on Friday that cast his struggling effort to win a second term as a battle against a “new far-left fascism” seeking to wipe out the nation’s values and history. [Emphasis added]
The fact that the author, Annie Karni, placed scare quotes around the phrase new far-left fascism reveals that the Times and its fellow left-leaning news outlets find nothing extremist or violent in the statue toppling and billions of dollars destruction that have plagued U.S. cities in recent weeks. The Times would probably agree with CNN’s assessment of the setting of last night’s speech: “in front of a monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans.”
The nation has strayed far off course since May 25, the day the police killing of George Floyd became an excuse for tearing down the country and everything in it. Countless works of public art depicting our founders have been defiled or destroyed altogether. Whole sections of cities have been burned to the ground.
As all this unfolded, police and other enforcers of the law were ordered to stand down. Looters and pillagers were permitted to run rough-shod over the American landscape.
In his remarks last night, the president said in essence “No more.” In actuality he said:
Today we pay tribute to the exceptional lives and extraordinary legacies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world, this monument will never be desecrated, these heroes will never be defamed, their legacy will never ever be destroyed, their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.
Dark and divisive? According to whose bizarre reckoning? For sure Trump’s message will come as a threat to the 98,000 signatories to a petition to the statue of Christopher Columbus in Elizabeth, N.J., with a statue of Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans activist.
Clearly the sickness infecting this country — and I am not referring to the coronavirus — should not have been permitted to progress this far. But it has, and now it is time for the president and all patriots to administer the cure.
As the president speech last night might best be summarized: It ends here.