The most dishonest speech since the last time this lying, hate-mongering moron opened his mouth. Not that he could have written a word of it himself, apart from the grunts and glitches that he inserted on the fly.
Summary: The Democrats in general, and BLM protestors en masse, are out to destroy America’s founding principles. They are ultra-leftist fascists who want to malign and destroy the greatness incarnated in Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Martin Luther King, and their faithful and worthy successor and steadfast protector, Donald Trump.
There is no indication in the transcript that a bolt of lightning from the top of the mountain fried this greatest of all violent-white-nationalist hypocrites to a crisp when he dared to mention the name of Martin Luther King, so I guess that didn’t happen.
I don’t know which is greater—the stupidity that went into the writing of this speech or the stupidity its writers hoped it would encounter in its intended hearers. There is not a bucket large enough to hold the quantity of vomit this speech make me want to discharge.
Look: The protest movement is aimed (1) centrally at historic and ongoing abuse of Black people in America and (2) peripherally at Confederate statues which were installed for the express purpose of reinstituting and extending that abuse after the defeat of the Confederacy. This lying whitewash-of-a-speech from the bowels of hell did not even mention either of those facts.
To the extent that pre-Confederate and non-Confederate American icons have been attacked, physically or verbally, in connection with the BLM protests, there are two explanations.
- There have in fact been some rampaging rioters who have attacked other statues, out of either ignorance or out of rage or both. They are not serious BLM protestors, and the BLM movement is not discredited by them. The BLM protests, like the anti-Davos protests, pro-environment protests, and most other protests these days, suffer from tag-along performances by rioters, anarchists, looters, and general malcontents and troublemakers. Some of them may consider themselves to be in sympathetic collaboration with the BLM protests. Some of them may be false-flag operatives deliberately setting out to discredit BLM. Some of them just don’t give a shit about anything. To portray the whole movement in terms that apply to this fringe in hopes of getting people to ignore the substantive concerns of the movement is the lowest form of mendacious demagoguery. So naturally it’s what our bottom-feeding lying liar of a president and his mindless minions do.
- Washington and Jefferson were both slaveholders. This presents a severe moral challenge. This Trump speech ignores that historical fact and the challenge it raises. But ignoring it doesn’t help. It requires discussion.
(To this we should add: there was and is a real moral issue regarding the carving of these presidents into Mount Rushmore. That should not be ignored or denied either. For some vital discussion of this point, as well as of the Trump speech in general, see Heather Cox Richardson’s Saturday-night post in her Letters from an American series.)
The best way—the only good way—to handle the mixed legacy represented by every human (and therefore flawed) founder and hero:
- Remember and honor their great acts.
- Name the great principles that they sponsored and strive to apply them more fully.
- Name their flaws and failures and strive to remedy their effects.
That is how we should think and talk about Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and T. Roosevelt. It is also in principle how we should think and talk about M. L. King and every other non-Rushmore contributor to the history of the USA.
In some cases we will conclude that it is appropriate to honor them with statues etc. because their great acts and the great principles that they espoused were were in service of the upbuilding of the nation. I think this should be the case for Washington, Lincoln, King, and even Jefferson. I’m thinking it should not be the case with Andrew Jackson. It is not the case with the statesmen and generals of the Confederacy.
Trump deliberately ignores the vital distinction between acts and words aimed at building up the nation and acts and words aimed at tearing the nation apart. He ignores the distinction between speaking and acting for the express purpose of making people free and speaking and acting for the express purpose of keeping people bound and subservient. He ignores the distinction because his own actions and words are malignant and the opposite of edifying, having as their foreseeable natural result, if not their conscious aim (it is so hard to fathom the consciousness of this lizard-king!), not the building up of this nation but its division and destruction, not freedom for all but unregulated license for a few at the expense of impoverished others.
At some level Trump or his third-rate speechwriter (whom he purchased at one of the less reputable dollar stores) certainly knows the difference between the Confederate statues and the Washington-Jefferson-Lincoln-Roosevelt icons. How do we know this? Trump’s speech mentions his proclamation calling for the creation of a National Garden (not “Guard” as this transcript says) of American Heroes. How many Confederate generals are included in the list of individuals named for inclusion? Zero. That’s right. Big. Fat. Zero.
So the Trump administration knows that the USA cannot be honoring leaders of the Confederacy as American heroes. On this point it agrees with the BLM movement. It has to—even though the entire effective agenda of the Trump administration is in demonstrable continuity with the central aims of the Confederacy, which was all about propping up oligarchy and white supremacy.
Which is why this utterly damnable Mount Rushmore speech hides Trump’s agreement with BLM that we cannot support Confederate statues and instead presents the BLM movement and the Democratic Party as being focused on destroying America and such American icons as Washington, apple pie, etc.
With regard to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and T. Roosevelt, let the arguments be made regarding their merits and demerits. They are neither too fragile to endure the scrutiny nor so untouchably sacred that their flaws should not even be mentioned. They are great human (and therefore flawed) beings whose greatness we can honor while differentiating carefully between their great accomplishments and aspirations, which we should imitate and extend, and their sins, which we should atone for and avoid. So let the debates proceed regarding the best way forward.
But any person or party that debates in such utterly bad faith as this speech does has forfeited any right to be part of our ongoing national conversation.
Trump has to go.