84°F
weather icon Clear

RUBEN NAVARRETTE JR.: Trump’s Fourth of July speech was divine, not divisive

This being an election year, and with the media determined to send President Donald Trump into retirement, we shouldn’t expect to hear anyone give Trump credit for anything. All they have to offer is blame — and criticism.

Even as a Trump critic myself — and an original Never Trumper who has despised the real estate mogul since June 2015, when he declared his White House bid and revved up the crowd by essentially calling my Mexican grandfather a criminal, rapist and drug dealer — I get sick of it.

No president gets everything wrong or everything right. Whether we’re talking about CNN on the left or Fox News on the right, the media are always trying to hypnotize the public. Why not just report events?

Trump haters are stuck on the narrative that failed Democrats in the 2016 election, i.e., Trump is a bad person. Why, even going to Mount Rushmore to praise America on the Fourth of July, we are told, is a diabolical attempt by an evil president to stoke divisions and start a “culture war.”

If there is a war, the first shot was fired decades ago. In the words of Billy Joel, Trump didn’t start the fire.

I don’t think the left has thought out this line of attack. It takes at least two parties to go to war. If Trump supports America, then can we assume that his opponents are against America? Is that really where anti-Trump liberals want to make their stand?

The 2020 election should be about a whole host of things — from reviving the economy to battling the coronavirus to curbing police violence. Instead, the election could boil down to how we all feel about America.

I’ll play along. I don’t care for Trump, but I love America. And I liked his speech.

“We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on Earth,” Trump told cheering supporters.

Now that the activist fringe has succeeded in pulling former Vice President Joe Biden to the left and away from the moderate center, whenever the Democratic candidate talks about America, his robotic cadence sounds like this: “We won’t just rebuild this nation. We’ll transform it.”

You know who’s been transformed? Joe Biden. To think that this is the same guy whom, in 2008, Barack Obama put on the ticket because the Delaware senator had built his whole brand around being the “working-class whisperer.” While Democrats abandoned their common man roots and became the party of coastal elites, Biden remained connected to blue-collar folks who wear hard hats and carry lunch buckets.

This year, Trump’s campaign message is obviously: “America the Beautiful.” Biden’s message seems to be: “America the Broken.”

That’s a stark choice. Which message do you suppose will resonate with more Americans?

Yeah, me too. I was afraid of that. Most Americans think the country is like a house that could use a touch up, a little paint, maybe some minor repairs. But America does not need to be torn down to the studs and rebuilt with safe spaces, “woke” culture and police-free CHOP zones.

Our country is not perfect. But nor is she, as many on the left claim, rotten to her core. The left wants to give America a stern scolding. It’s going to wind up giving Trump something he doesn’t deserve: four more years.

The media know this, which is why they wasted no time in demagoguing Trump’s Fourth of July speech. They know a winning message when they hear it. And coming up with a better, positive message takes too much work. It’s easier to go on the attack.

But do you know what really bugs me about the media’s attack on Trump’s speech? It’s not partisanship or politics. It’s personal responsibility, or rather the lack thereof.

Trump told the crowd: “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

All true. Did protesters really think they could go on rampages, create mayhem, destroy public property, burn down police stations, break windows, loot stores and generate chaos — and that there would be no consequences or condemnation? Americans are all supposed to feel good about that, just accept it as a healthy exercise of free speech and move on?

That settles it. The hard left — and the Democratic Party it now controls — should be disqualified from leading this country. How can they run it? They don’t even understand it.

Contact Ruben Navarrette at ruben@rubennavarrette.com. His daily podcast, “Navarrette Nation,” is available through every podcast app.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST