Fred Fleitz: At Mount Rushmore, Trump right to highlight danger leftist radicals pose to America

Trump vows Mount Rushmore will never be desecrated, says nation is witnessing campaign to erase our history

President Trump celebrated America’s independence and our nation’s 244th birthday Friday night with stirring speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota calling attention to serious threats America faces here at home from radical lawbreakers.

Praising the four presidents whose 60-foot-high heads are carved into a mountain in the Black Hills – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt – Trump attacked extremists who have denounced such great Americans and sought to tear down their statues and monuments.

“The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society,” the president 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.”

This celebration at the memorial known as the Shrine to Democracy could not have come at a better time.

Our democratic values are being challenged by increasingly intolerant radicals. These leftists misrepresent our history and seek to impose socialism and censorship on those who disagree. As we have seen over the last two months, the radical left is prepared to do this through mob rule and violence.

Despite the insistence by the left and the mainstream media that our nation is hopelessly unjust, the United States is an ever-improving great experiment. The vast majority of Americans know this. So does the rest of the world, which is why the United States is by far the leading destination for immigrants.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who was born in South Africa, expressed this in an interview this year about his phenomenal success: “America is the land of opportunity – there is no other country where I could have done this.”

But the American experiment is fragile.

On the final day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin, was asked: “What do we have, a republic or a monarchy?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Although most Americans reject the radical leftist attacks on our country and history, the views of the extremists will take root unless we forcefully refute them.

This celebration at the memorial known as the Shrine to Democracy could not have come at a better time.

This means not just rejecting the recent lawlessness led by radical leftist groups like Black Lives Matters (BLM) and Antifa, but actively speaking out to defend our history of freedom. This must include keeping the left’s America-hating, socialist narrative out of our schools.

We live in a dangerous world with enemies who would like to end the American experiment and our status as the world’s superpower.

Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. It will try to do so again this year, along with other nations, especially China.

America’s adversaries are encouraging BLM and Antifa to undermine our country. China is openly using BLM to bash the U.S. government and discredit liberal democracies to deflect criticism of Chinese human rights violations.

America faces growing international security threats, including the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia and China are expanding and improving their nuclear arsenals while America struggles to keep up.

North Korea has not ended its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Iran continues to develop its missile program and likely has robust clandestine nuclear weapons.

The threat from radical Islamist terrorism continues and these terrorist groups likely are planning more potent attacks.

China is and likely will remain the most serious security threat to the United States and the world. China’s ruling Communist Party is not interested in peaceful co-existence or free and fair trade.

Beijing is using diplomatic, military, economic, cyber, and espionage pressure and tools to supplant the United States as the global superpower and install a Chinese-led, anti-democratic world order.

China has taken advantage of diverted American attention due to the coronavirus pandemic and violent protests to intensify its efforts to claim the South China Sea as part of its territory and crush what was left of Hong Kong’s democracy.

Fortunately, we have a president who recognizes foreign threats and is taking steps to defend our security and freedom. President Trump has built up and modernized our military, greatly improving readiness.

The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review is a strategy this administration has acted on to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal after years of neglect.


The Trump administration destroyed the ISIS state in Syria and Iraq and used military strikes to punish Syria for using chemical weapons against its people.

President Trump ended President Barack Obama’s appeasement of Iran by exiting the flawed 2015 nuclear deal.

Trump also has called China out on its exploitative trade practices and intellectual property theft, using tariffs to press for free and fair trade. The U.S. and China agreed to a “Phase One” trade deal in January that addressed some of these concerns. Trump officials plan to open talks on a broader “Phase Two” deal if Trump wins reelection.


The winner of the 2020 presidential election should continue and build upon these policies.

As we celebrate the birth of our nation this weekend, we honor an exceptional nation that is a global beacon of freedom, liberty and opportunity. But the success of the American experiment will not continue unless we aggressively defend our democratic ideals, history of freedom and our national security.


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