He’s back! President Trump’s brilliant Mount Rushmore speech Friday laid out a winning campaign theme to restore national optimism. Of course, his media antagonists fell over themselves to find fault with it.
He presented an antidote to the viciousness that has engulfed America, a declaration of love for this country, warts and all, a reaffirmation of the noble ideals on which it was founded, a vote of confidence in “American greatness” and a call to unity.
Beneath the granite faces carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota, he spoke of building up the country, not tearing it down.
He stood against the “merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”
In 3,000 words he skewered the wreckers and liars who are defaming America and trying to erase history.
These are the people who celebrated Independence Day by tossing a statue of Christopher Columbus into Baltimore’s harbor.
They have desecrated statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, even Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant, who won the Civil War to end slavery at a cost of 620,000 American lives. No other country has been so noble.
But amid the destruction, we see seeds of defiance from quiet Americans.
In St. Louis, Catholics led by a courageous 30-year-old priest, the Rev. Stephen Schumacher, are defending the statue of King Louis IX, the saint.
They have been beaten with sticks, spat at, and abused in diabolical ways. But they keep coming back every night in bigger numbers to pray the rosary.
Their calm resolve offers a contrasting vision of America which a monotone media, intent on toppling Trump, can’t grasp.
For this America, stunned by the senseless violence which pours salt in the wounds of COVID-19 and a shattered economy, the president’s speech was just what the doctor ordered.
He paid homage to the “56 patriots” who gathered in Philadelphia in 1776 to sign the Declaration of Independence, which “enshrined a divine truth that . . . all men are created equal.”
He even dared to say America was “founded on Judeo-Christian principles” with the family “the bedrock of American life,” where “every child, of every color — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of God.”
And in his forthright way, he fingered a “new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language . . . recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished.”
“It’s not going to happen to us.”
Cue enthusiastic applause.
“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.
“Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing.
“They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all its values, history, and culture to be taken from them.”
Cue gnashing of teeth from agitators exploiting George Floyd’s death to call for death to cops, dismantling of the nuclear family and destruction of images of Jesus because, as Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter leader, put it, Christianity is “white supremacy.”
Nope, said Trump.
“We believe that our children should be taught to love their country, honor their history, and respect our great American flag. We stand tall, we stand proud, and we only kneel to Almighty God.”
He also announced an executive order establishing an outdoor park of new statues, “The National Garden of American heroes,” and programs to “educate Americans about the founding documents and founding ideals.
“We will raise the next generation of American patriots.”
This, of course, was kryptonite to the wokesters of the establishment media.
The New York Times damned the speech as “dark and divisive,” as if standing against “cancel culture” and the trashing of America is what will split the country.
The Washington Post sneered at Mount Rushmore as “nationalist kitsch” and slammed a “dystopian” speech that “exploits social divisions.”
CNN reviled the iconic setting it used to like, before Trump, as a “monument of two slave owners.”
The Times also reminded readers Trump voters are racist, sexist and stupid, and think “reality TV is real.”
In the build-up to the election, the president’s media adversaries are determined to portray a parallel-universe America of peaceful protests — rather than the bloodshed, mayhem, bigotry and intimidation of law-abiding people by the bullies they enable. If they don’t report it, it didn’t happen.
But their manufactured reality does not mean voters don’t know what is going on.
And Trump, imperfect though he is, is the only political leader to call it out, with a clarion call across the land.
Mitt Romney would never have given such a speech, nor Hillary Clinton, nor Barack Obama, and definitely not poor Joe Biden.
Trump found his path to electoral redemption at Mount Rushmore on Friday night.
Meanwhile, his opponents indulge in the same folly they fell into in 2016. Carried away with their moral superiority, they didn’t notice Trump was talking over their heads to an America that still believes in itself, and whose resolve hardens with every blow.
Pardoning Stone would strike a blow for equal justice
If everyone is equal under the law, why is Roger Stone set to enter the slammer next week, mid-pandemic, when disgraced Speaker Sheldon Silver is still walking free four years after first being convicted on federal corruption charges?
If we all are equal under the law, why is jailbird Michael Cohen dining out on the Upper East Side, thanks to a coronavirus release, when Stone, at 67, is 14 years older, has asthma and is being shown no such mercy. Maybe it’s because Stone rubs people the wrong way. More likely, it’s because he’s a friend of President Trump.
Prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, who was part of the Mueller Russia-investigation team that snagged Stone, told the House Judiciary Committee last month that the former Trump campaign adviser received special treatment “because of his relationship to the president.”
That’s true: He was treated objectively worse.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was a sham from the start, part of a plot to hobble the president. By October 2017, the FBI knew there was no Russia collusion.
Yet in January 2019, Mueller indicted Stone for obstruction, false statements and witness tampering.
Stone’s crime was lying to Congress about his attempts to help Trump’s campaign by contacting WikiLeaks to try to access e-mails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. He also was convicted of witness tampering for pressuring a friend not to testify against him.
Stone can be his own worst enemy, but the televised FBI raid on his Florida home last year was overkill, designed to intimidate.
Why did the FBI need 17 armored vehicles, a boat and 29 agents descending at dawn for an old guy with no criminal record or passport in a case they knew was going nowhere?
Whatever you think of Stone, there’s been one rule for him and one for everyone else. Even a pedophile at the Georgia prison where he will be locked up for 40 months was just sent home as a coronavirus precaution.
Stone is convinced he will die in jail so his only chance now is for the president to pardon him or commute his sentence, so he has been hitting up the media with increasing urgency.
On Friday, his wife, Nydia Stone, in a video and long letter, begged Trump: “Please hear our prayers Mr. President. The time for justice is now.”
Stone will find out soon enough what his high-flying friendship is worth.
Trump has been dropping hints, tweeting last month: “Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”
Last week, he re-tweeted a message saying “IT’S TIME TO #PardonRogerStone.’ ”
Stone doesn’t know if he’s teasing, but he isn’t sleeping well.
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