President Donald Trump’s remarkable speech at Mt. Rushmore on Friday night — Monica Showalter, Deputy Editor at American Thinker, called it “his finest speech … the speech of his presidency” — not only celebrated the giants whose faces are carved into the granite wall behind him, but also called out the enemies of the republic.
And one of those enemies — the New York Times — didn’t like it one bit.
The president opened with this:
There could be no better place to celebrate America’s independence than beneath this magnificent, incredible majestic mountain and monument to the greatest Americans who have ever lived. 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.
He retold the marvelous story of the founding of the republic, unique in all of human history:
Our founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity. No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America and no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation.
It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence….
1776 represented the culmination of thousands of years of Western civilization and the triumph of not only spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason.
And then he exposed the enemy of that miracle:
And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure.
Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.
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.
And then he pointed to those who are working intentionally to destroy the republic: “Many of these people have no idea why they’re doing this, but some know what they are doing.” Trump exposed one of the tools being used:
One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and to our values and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.
And he noted how the cancer of collectivism has invaded the culture:
In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished….
Make no mistake. This left-wing Cultural Revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress. To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.
After reviewing briefly the life histories of the giants whose faces looked down on the crowd celebrating the birth of the republic, Trump made this promise:
We will state the truth in full without apology. We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on earth.
We are proud of the fact that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and we understand that these values have dramatically advanced the cause of peace and justice throughout the world.
We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life. We recognize the solemn right and moral duty of every nation to secure its borders and we are building the wall.
We remember that governments exist to protect the safety and happiness of their own people. A nation must care for its own citizens first. We must take care of America first.
We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion and creed. Every child of every color, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of God….
We stand tall, we stand proud, and we only kneel to Almighty God. This is who we are. This is what we believe and these are the values that will guide us as we strive to build an even better and greater future.
And then he called out the evil purposes of the enemies of the republic:
Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America’s destiny.
In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country and that we feel for each other.
Their goal is not a better America, their goal is to end America….
We will show that the story of America unites us, inspires us, includes us all, and makes everyone free.
Trump ended his “finest speech — the speech of his presidency” with this:
From this night, and from this magnificent place, let us go forward united in our purpose and rededicated in our resolve. We will raise the next generation of American patriots. We will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no one can hold them down.
They will know that, in America, you can do anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything….
My fellow citizens, America’s destiny is in our sights. America’s heroes are embedded in our hearts. America’s future is in our hands. And ladies and gentlemen, the best is yet to come.
All of which was just too much for Annie Karni, the White House correspondent for the New York Times. Instead of joining the president and the crowd of thousands gathered at the monument to celebrate the birth of the nation, she said that “President Trump delivered a dark and divisive speech … 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.”
His speech, she said, was a “fiery reboot” intended to reinspire his steadily diminishing number of true believers by using the “straw man” of the threat of totalitarianism as the match:
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.
Deep into her four-page screed Karni admitted that he is meeting with some success with his message: “Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump has tried to bend events to his will, often using social media to drive home his alternate version of reality and, thanks to the power of repetition and the loyal support of his base, sometimes succeeding.”
A careful re-reading of that screed leaves one with a sense of desperation, the sense that the machinations of the Left, supported by left-wing media such as the Times, has been exposed to the bright sunlight of truth, thanks to President Trump.
Trump’s speech was a triumph in which, as Showalter wrote, the president “did the thing Trump does best, which is to call out and identify authentic enemies, stating that he knows who they are, what their game is, and that he won’t let them win.”
Photo of President Trump at Mt. Rushmore: AP Images