In his recent article “Trump turned July Fourth into a partisan event. The damage could be long-lasting,” the Washington Post’s Dan Balz levels a baseless and distorted denunciation of President Donald Trump’s Independence Day addresses to the nation. The remarks at issue, of course, are Trump’s calls for national unity and commitment to preserving our founding ideals, delivered both at Mount Rushmore on July 3 and at President’s Park for the historic Salute to America on July 4.
In his profoundly skewed appraisal of the president’s speeches, Balz contends that Trump has “turned the Fourth of July from a joyful and unifying patriotic celebration of America’s founding values into a partisan political event.” Balz’s vitriol does not stop there. He smears the commander in chief for “exaggerated and at times racist rhetoric designed to pit Americans against Americans.” Balz seemingly did not listen or did not want to listen to the same remarks that resonated so deeply with me and millions of other patriotic Americans.
Trump’s message was clear in its patriotism and desire for national unity and equal justice. To Balz, apparently, Trump’s condemnation of radical, anti-American “mobs [that] are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities” is somehow out of step with what has been devolving on the street of America’s great cities over the last several weeks.
For Balz, Trump’s noble reminders on July 4 both that “we are one family and one nation … [which] belongs to every citizen, young and old, first-generation American and tenth-generation American” and that “no matter our race, color, religion, or creed, we are one America” are somehow expressions of disunity.
I am not sure how Trump’s affirmations could be construed as somehow partisan or divisive. I am not sure what precisely Balz found so objectionable in Trump, beneath the faces of our founders and great leaders at Mount Rushmore, urging his fellow Americans to “demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Rev. Martin Luther King, when he said that the founders had signed ‘a promissory note’ to every future generation” and, therefore, to help America realize our “mission of justice” and “embrace our founding ideals.”
Apparently, and to no surprise to much of the country, Balz and the Washington Post see things differently.
The truth is, at this challenging time for the United States, Trump seized a moment to unify the nation and beckon his fellow Americans back to the values and principles that make the U.S.A. the greatest nation on Earth. In that vein, in his Salute to America address at the White House, the president reminded the American people — or those willing to listen — that “the beauty and the glory of our constitutional system is that it gives us the tools to fight injustice, to heal division, and to continue the work of our Founding Fathers by expanding and growing the blessings of America.”
It is that belief in our nation’s founding principles that has allowed America to continue to build a more perfect union and live up to our founding ideals. As the president noted, “If you believe in justice, if you believe in freedom, if you believe in peace, then you must cherish the principles of our founding and the text of our Constitution.”