American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp and Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow Judith Miller react.
In an interview with RealClear Politics published Wednesday, the president expounded upon some of the ideas he put forth in his polarizing Mount Rushmore speech on July 3. During that address, Trump rejected what he called “a new far-left fascism” and a “left-wing cultural revolution” that he said threatened American civilization.
“We are in a culture war,” Trump told RealClear Politics. “If the Republicans don’t toughen up and get smart and get strong and protect our heritage and protect our country, I think they’re going to have a very tough election.”
Insight from John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general.
During his Mount Rushmore speech, Trump specifically called out protesters seeking to remove statues of American Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who were slave owners. What had begun as a push to eradicate memorials of the Confederacy expanded to include the former presidents, as well as President Abraham Lincoln, who led the country during the Civil War and famously ended slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation.
He also pushed back against “cancel culture,” wherein people have been shaming others for past social media posts they disagree with, and in some cases threatening their livelihoods by trying to use the posts to get them fired from their jobs.
“This is the very definition of totalitarianism,” Trump said, “and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.”
That same message against cancel culture was recently put forth by well-known liberal writers and activists who warned that their fellow leftists were going too far.
A letter published in Harper’s Magazine that was signed by notable figures including author J.K. Rowling, activist Gloria Steinem, and linguist Noam Chomsky said that liberals have exhibited “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”