United States Under Siege of ‘Extreme Left Fascism’, Trump Says in Mount Rushmore Speech | Trump administration

Standing under Mount Rushmore on the eve of United States Independence Day, Donald Trump hosted a defiant celebration of what critics say is white identity politics and warned that the nation’s history is besieged by “fascism. far left. “

The President of the United States defended the symbolism of statues and monuments before a crowded crowd at an event that reveled in calculated political inaccuracy to ignite the country’s current divisions and enrage liberal critics. There were few facial masks and even fewer people of color on stage or in the stands.

“Our nation is witnessing a ruthless campaign to erase our history, defame our heroes, erase our values ​​and indoctrinate our children,” said Trump. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down the statues of our founders, disfigure our most sacred monuments, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

In an effort to defend himself, he announced a surprise executive order establishing “The National Garden of American Heroes,” a large outdoor park with statues of “the best Americans ever to exist,” a selection that is sure to spark debate and controversy. .

Mount Rushmore in South Dakota depicts images of US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Washington and Jefferson owned slaves and have found their legacies more and more questioned since the murder of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white police officer on May 25 triggered a wave of Black Lives Matter protests and the ousting of dozens of Confederate statues.

The president has shown no signs of embracing the public mood, but has clung to a “law and order” response, promising severe penalties for anyone who destroys the statues, resisting changes to military bases named by the generals. Confederates and retweeting (then deleting) a video in which a man shouted “White power!”

On Friday, Trump became the first President since George HW Bush in 1991 to attend the Mount Rushmore Independence Day celebration. He greeted and his wife Melania stood with her hand on her heart as she played the national anthem, stars and stripes displayed on large screens, and Blue Angels planes flew overhead.

“This monument will never be desecrated,” Trump declared, causing cheers. These heroes will never be disfigured. His legacy will never, never be destroyed. Your achievements will never be forgotten. And Mount Rushmore will forever be an everlasting tribute to our ancestors and our freedom. “

In comments that offered little by way of reconciliation, he went on to “reject culture, drive people out of their jobs, embarrass dissidents and demand full submission from anyone who disagrees.” This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely foreign to our culture and our values. It has absolutely no place in the United States of America.

“This attack on our freedom, our magnificent freedom, must stop, and it will stop very quickly.”

He added grimly: “In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute loyalty. If he doesn’t speak his language, perform his rituals, recite his mantras, and follow his commandments, then he will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. “

Gesturing to the overwhelming white crowd, he said, “It won’t happen to us.”

Trump added: “Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to topple the American revolution.”

When the president said he was rolling out federal law enforcement to protect monuments and arrest and prosecute criminals, the crowd stood up and applauded. When he proclaimed, “They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced,” there were chants of “United States! UNITED STATES!”

In a blow to sports professionals and others who kneel to protest racial injustice, Trump said: “We stand tall, feel proud, and only kneel before the almighty God.”

He then announced the National Garden of American Heroes in an executive order that said it should include statues of figures like Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T Washington, George Washington and Orville and Wilbur Wright.

After the speech, Trump sat down with Melania to watch a fireworks show over the monument, accompanied by patriotic music and historical readings, the first since 2009 due to environmental concerns and fears of forest fires. South Dakota says the surrounding Black Hills National Forest has “gained steam” since then and that fireworks technology has advanced.

But the threat of harm was yet another example of how, if the president’s advisers had devised a trick to incite his critics in the media and Congress, they could hardly have chosen a more incendiary time and place.

Protesters blocked a path leading to the monument. Authorities worked to move protesters, mostly Native Americans, protesting that the Black Hills of South Dakota were taken from the Lakota people against treaty agreements and objecting to Trump celebrating American independence on his sacred ground. About 15 protesters were arrested after missing a deadline set by the police to leave.

The Democratic National Committee tweeted at one point that Trump had disrespected Native Americans and that his trip to South Dakota was “glorifying white supremacy.” He subsequently deleted the tweet.

As in Oklahoma and Arizona last month, Trump held an event with a large crowd despite recommendations by health experts to avoid large gatherings amid a surge in coronavirus cases to a record more than 50,000 per day. Covid-19 cases in Pennington County surrounding Mount Rushmore have more than doubled in the past month.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of President Donald Trump Jr’s son, reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. She had traveled to South Dakota but did not attend the event.