Donald Trump gave a speech at Mount Rushmore extolling the virtues of America in an unabashed and unapologetic fashion. The reaction to it was astonishing. As Rich Lowry of NRO points out, “Never before has a speech extolling America’s virtues and the marvels or the nation’s heroes played to such poor — and completely dishonest — reviews.” Brit Hume of Fox News thinks the hysterical overreaction to the speech “could be a turning point” in the campaign.
That overreaction included some of the most dishonest coverage of the Trump presidency to date — and that’s saying something.
The opening of a Washington Post report struck a similar note: “President Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination, crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mount Rushmore, has unnerved Republicans who have long enabled him but now fear losing power and forever associating their party with his racial animus.”
The Post wrote this even though the Rushmore speech didn’t mention Confederate monuments.
What’s more, “none of these pieces were columns or op-eds. All purported to be straight news written by straight-news reporters.” It’s as if the entire woke media is on a crusade to demonize anyone and everyone who utters a disagreeing word about the current climate of terror being perpetrated by a left-wing mob.
There’s no doubt that Trump’s attacks on the Left were hard-edged. In one line oft-quoted by journalists, he said, “In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.”
Lowry added, “I suspect that the very journalists who scoff at his description all know that if they or their colleagues say something disparaging or even skeptical about Black Lives Matter, their jobs would instantly be at risk.” So endeth the lesson.
Hyperbole? Of course, dummy, it’s an election year and this was a political speech. Reading some things said about Trump by Democrats, and especially the mob, you’d think he boiled little children and had them on a coronavirus sandwich for lunch.
So there was, indeed, calculation in Trump’s words. But that doesn’t negate the sentiments he uttered that are shared by tens of millions of people in this nation and around the world. Donald Trump said absolutely nothing about America that was controversial in that speech. He gave the same boilerplate expressions of love of country and patriotism that politicians have been giving on the stump since the founding of the republic.
But it was given by Trump, so blow it up.
Part of what is going on here is simply a reaction to anything Trump says or does, but there is a deeper factor at work. The media presumes that it must necessarily be wrong to criticize, as the Washington Post put it, a “racial justice movement” — its catch-all phrase for the woke Left.
Forced to choose between what once would have been the uncontroversial patriotic sentiments expressed at Mount Rushmore and that movement, it’s not even close — patriotism has to be thrown overboard.
The irony here is that in order to show you love America, you have to show how much you hate it. America has always been a schizophrenic country, existing as half slave, half free for much of its history, but this is ridiculous.
If and when the day arrives when championing our Founders and exulting in July 4 is flatly considered an expression of white supremacy, we will look back at the reaction to the Mount Rushmore speech as the canary in the coal mine.
The canary is already dead and the putrid fumes of radicalism and oppression are beginning to consume us all.