By Thomas Lifson
Once again, President Trump has outwitted his opponents and forced them to fight on a playing field tilted toward his goal. His executive order establishing a “National Garden of American Heroes” and his speech (transcript here; video here) during the July 4th Salute to America that revealed his first set of names for honoring as heroes has left the radical revolutionaries and their media and institutional allies sputtering in futile rage, making arguments that only reinforce Trump’s point.
1. The new monument contrasts a builder versus destroyers. Polling shows that vast majorities of the public disapprove of the tearing down of statues. By standing as someone who is adding to our collective memories through new monuments, Trump stands on the side of creating things of value while his opponents are stuck defending those who subtract from our collective heritage. It also reminds everyone that Trump was and remains a builder. The Executive Order explains:
To destroy a monument is to desecrate our common inheritance. These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn. My Administration will not abide an assault on our collective national memory.
2. It focuses attention on the concept of role models. Every parent knows that role models are hugely important in teaching children how to behave, while even non-parents readily grasp that they also shape our culture and behavior. Cast in the light of value as a role model, slave holders like Washington and Jefferson stand out for their many virtues worthy of emulation because there is no possibility at all of mistakenly emulating their slave-holding, since slavery has been abolished. keep reading