Monday, July 6, 2020

The flawed thinking behind TRump's flawed speech

Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post) knocks Trump’s ‘Toe-tally-terry-tism’ speech.

Perhaps President Trump’s remarks at Mount Rushmore on Friday will become known as the super-spreader speech, where a few thousand people, nearly all unmasked, sat next to each other (on chairs actually tied together, which prevented social distancing) in rapt attention and thereby duplicated the monstrously dangerous stunt Trump recently pulled in Tulsa. Maybe it will be vaguely remembered as the worst Independence Day speech in American history. I’m betting it will be known as the “toe-tally-terry-tism” speech …

It was not simply his slurred speech (Trump also mangled the pronunciation of Ulysses Grant, as if he had never seen in print the first name of the Union general who clobbered the Confederate generals Trump still tries to venerate) that conveyed the impression there is something just not right with the 45th president. It was not merely Trump’s sweaty, oddly colored pallor; his squinting to read the teleprompter; or the uneven pacing of his reading, which at times threatened (promised?) to grind to a halt. No, it was the darkly aggressive and fascistic substance of his speech: positing that his enemies want to destroy America and eradicate its history.


Now, if you were looking for normalcy, sanity, actual patriotism and something uplifting, you could have read former vice president Joe Biden’s July 4 op-ed. His vision of America is one of ever-expanding freedom:

Our democracy rose up from the ground when we ended slavery and ratified the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. It rose higher when women fought for suffrage — and won. It was fortified when a lawyer named Thurgood Marshall persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down “separate but equal” and blaze a trail for opportunity in Brown v. Board of Education. And when our nation opened its eyes to the viciousness of Bull Connor and the righteousness of the Freedom Riders — and responded with outrage, and a new Civil Rights Act and a Voting Rights Act — we built it stronger still.

… Biden offers a vision of a country that stands “ready to lead again, not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”

You can have that guy or the raving, paranoid one peddling hate and dystopia. The choice is not even close.

Max Boot (Washington Post) provides additional reasons for that choice because Trump is running an openly racist campaign, one that is

… at odds with public opinion that has shifted against Confederate monuments and in favor of Black Lives Matter. So he prefers to pretend that he is battling against the unreasonable demands of “cancel culture” — and his supporters pretend to believe him. But everyone knows that what he is really defending is not “our freedom” or “our history,” as he said on Friday, but, rather, “white power” — the words uttered by a Trump supporter in a video that the president himself posted on Twitter and later deleted but did not disavow.

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