Donald Trump once again seeks to reframe history by blaming America’s current social unrest on those who would oppose him. Claiming they are out to destroy the nation, Trump asks Americans to harken back to the past when, in his idyllic image, America was a great country. But in reality, it was a time of tremendous racial divide when white men ruled.
In these times when coronavirus cases are on the rise once again, Donald Trump seized the opportunity to create yet another diversion with his rally at the base of Mount Rushmore. During his speech, Trump yet again took jabs at those he sees as his “enemies”. Instead of using the holiday to promote national unity, he continued to attack.
In what was supposed to be a Celebration of America, Trump stood in the shadow of the chiseled faces of some of America’s greatest leaders and called for America to rise up to fight “far left fascism”. If they could, those faces would be flushed with embarrassment.
We are supposed to be celebrating the birth of America in very difficult times. We are supposed to have leaders who promote national unity during this crisis. Instead, we have a leader who seeks to further divide the nation by espousing far right ideals that are meant to appease white supremacists in this time of racial division.
In a speech, most likely written by White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller,Trump decried “angry mobs” destroying statues of what he called American heroes. Miller has been linked to white nationalist groups that promote the hatred and vitriol that marked much of Trump’s speech in which he proposed a National Garden of American Heroes to replace those being taken down. Mind you, despite naming several notable heroes in his “garden”, the images he says should be honored are those who sought to destroy America during the Civil War.
And of course, despite the rising cases of coronavirus, there was no sign of social distancing and virtually no sign of masks in the crowd. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) declared there was no need since the state had such a low incidence of cases. Yet another member of Trump’s staff, and Don Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, tested positive for the virus after attending several campaign fundraising events. She did not wear a mask to these events.
Like everything this administration has done, this goes contrary to the advice of medical experts. Cases continue to rise and America is being viewed by the world as an example of what not to do in response to the pandemic.
Then Trump promoted yet another large gathering in Washington, DC to celebrate the Fourth of July. Again, social distancing was not enforced. Masks were suggested, but not required. And, like the previous outing, Trump touted it as another show of support as he vowed to save America from the "angry mob."
It was yet another rally in a time of crisis, a time that calls out for calm, responsible leadership, not dark, angry words intended to divide us.