President Donald Trump traveled to Mount Rushmore on Friday to give an Independence Day speech ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. During the speech, he praised the founding principles of the United States and the enduring spirit of the American people.
Trump challenged the left-wing totalitarian impulse threatening schools, corporate board rooms, newsrooms, and the “American way of life” itself.
“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,” said Trump.
“Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution,” said Trump, who remarked that radicals were “determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage” to get the job done.
During the speech, Trump also offered an unapologetic defense of the presidents carved into Mount Rushmore, describing them as “American giants” whose “deeds unleashed the greatest leap in human advancement the world has ever known.”
Each of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore represents a different era of accomplishment in American history — Washington symbolizes the nation’s founding, Jefferson represents American growth, Lincoln symbolizes preservation, and Theodore Roosevelt represents development.
Later in the speech, the president returned to his observations about American values, and the need for them to prevail.
“We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture. We embrace tolerance, not prejudice,” said Trump, also commenting that those seeking to erase our shared heritage don’t want to better America, but to end America.
“My fellow Americans, it is time to speak up loudly and strongly and powerfully, and defend the integrity of our country,” said Trump.
On Friday evening, the Trump administration said it would establish a task force dedicated to creating a National Garden that would contain statues of great American “who made substantive contributions to America’s public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on America’s history.”
The National Garden will include life-like “statues of John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.”
The executive order also describes other examples of permissible statues, including “the Founding Fathers, those who fought for the abolition of slavery or participated in the underground railroad, heroes of the United States Armed Forces, recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor or Presidential Medal of Freedom, scientists and inventors, entrepreneurs, civil rights leaders, missionaries and religious leaders, pioneers and explorers, police officers and firefighters killed or injured in the line of duty, labor leaders, advocates for the poor and disadvantaged, opponents of national socialism or international socialism, former Presidents of the United States and other elected officials, judges and justices, astronauts, authors, intellectuals, artists, and teachers. None will have lived perfect lives, but all will be worth honoring, remembering, and studying.”
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