NO NOT THAT ONE
THIS ONE !
(NOTE: ACTUAL SIZE)
WASHINGTON — 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.
With the coronavirus pandemic raging and his campaign faltering in the polls, his appearance amounted to a fiery reboot of his re-election effort, using the holiday and an official presidential address to mount a full-on culture war against a straw-man version of the left that he portrayed as inciting mayhem and moving the country toward totalitarianism.
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Mr. Trump said, addressing a packed crowd of sign-waving supporters, few of whom wore masks. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”
Mr. Trump barely mentioned the frightening resurgence of the pandemic, even as the country surpassed 53,000 new cases and health officials across the nation urged Americans to scale back their Fourth of July plans.
Instead, appealing unabashedly to his base with ominous language and imagery, he railed against what he described as a dangerous “cancel culture” intent on toppling monuments and framed himself as a strong leader who would protect the Second Amendment, law enforcement and the country’s heritage.
The scene at Mount Rushmore was the latest sign of how Mr. Trump appears, by design or default, increasingly disconnected from the intense concern among Americans about the health crisis gripping the country. More than just a partisan rally, it underscored the extent to which Mr. Trump is appealing to a subset of Americans to carry him to a second term by changing the subject and appealing to fear and division.
“We will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people,” Mr. Trump said, referring to his political opponents and their supporters.
Under the granite gaze of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, Mr. Trump announced plans to establish what he described as a “vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live,” an apparent repudiation of the growing pressure to remove statues tied to slavery or colonialism.
As he arrived, Air Force One performed a flyover of Mount Rushmore. His campaign promoted the stunt online, calling him “the coolest president ever.”
In the amphitheater below, few in the packed crowd practiced any social distancing as people waved signs that referred to CNN as the “Communist News Network.” As he observed a flyover by the Navy’s Blue Angels, Mr. Trump sat on a packed dais with the first lady, Melania Trump, the national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, none of whom wore masks.
“In the hours leading up to President Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore Friday night, a group of protesters blocked the road to the national monument. The protesters were mainly comprised of Native Americans, angered at the staging of the political event in an area sacred to them. The Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that the Black Hills — where Mount Rushmore resides — was unlawfully taken from the Sioux people.”
IOW It SHOULD have ended like THIS!
BUT IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF RODNEY KING “CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?”