So, how are you celebrating the Fourth of July? I’m not. It’s just another day when idiots will crank up the jingo and make me embarrassed to be an American, so I don’t have any reason to party — quite the contrary, I plan to duck down low and hope the whole shameful episode goes away soon.
The president, on the other hand, took the opportunity yesterday to amplify his disgrace with a partisan demonization of his critics.
“The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society,” Trump said. “It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance and turn our free society into a place of repression, domination and exclusion. They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced.”
The president, who recently signed an executive order aimed at punishing those who destroy monuments on federal property, referred to “violent mayhem” in the streets, even though many of the mass demonstrations have been largely peaceful. He warned that “angry mobs” were unleashing “a wave of violent crime” and using “cancel culture” as a weapon to intimidate and dominate political opponents — in what he compared to “totalitarianism.”
And Trump asserted that “children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe the men and women who built it were not heroes but villains.”
“This radical view of American history is a web of lies,” he added.
“They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive,” Trump said. “But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history and culture to be taken from them.”
To demonstrate totalitarianism, Trump also had Indian protesters, who have long protested the seizure of their land to build a ‘patriotic’ monument to American colonialism, sculpted by a racist, arrested. Message received.
We’re living in interesting times, when we face the ongoing threats of a pandemic and climate change, when the police have been rampaging against the citizenry, when naked racism is exposing itself everywhere, when the government is a nest of corruption and incompetence. One might wonder what our president might do to address these issues, rather than inflame them. Don’t worry. He has a Plan. A cunning plan, no less, one that we’ll hear much more about as he runs for re-election.
In an effort to fight back, he announced a surprise executive order establishing “The National Garden of American Heroes”, a vast outdoor park featuring statues of “the greatest Americans to ever live” – a selection sure to provoke debate and controversy.
You see, the real problem is that statues are under threat, and we have to provide a refuge from oppression for a huge gallery of random collections of statues. Someone threatens to tear down a statue of slaver and traitor Robert E. Lee? Send in a helicopter and whisk it away to some acreage full of other statues of people no one should like. A retirement home for representations of dead people of dubious character, if you will, sprinkled with a few monuments to people like Ulysses Grant and Harriet Tubman to give the shameful dead some respectability.
That’s a Trumpian solution, all right, celebrating the problem and making it worse, creating a centralized repository of bad art and bad history which he can have patrolled by armed guards who will shoot and/or arrest people who dare to protest his celebration of freedom. He also desperately wants to make this nonsense a campaign issue, because for sure he won’t be running on his record or his abilities.