For some reason, President Donald Trump has decided to make it his mission to advocate on behalf of monuments to leaders of the Confederacy that are situated around the United States. Some of these monuments have been removed recently, but some remain, and as the advocacy grows for their removal, Trump has spun a wild conspiracy theory about how those against the statues are supposedly really advocating for the overthrow of American greatness — or something. During an interview on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) — whose name has been floated as a possible running mate for Joe Biden — hammered Trump over his support for the “dead traitors” of the Confederacy.
Duckworth, who is herself a veteran, sounded like she is among the many Americans who are fed up with Trump’s endless self-serving ignorance. As she pointed out, some 130,000 Americans have died due to the Coronavirus, and the virus is spreading rapidly in some areas of the country. People are getting sick and dying. And what’s the president concerned about? He’s obsessed with an imaginary culture war.
Asked what sorts of lines should be drawn between statues that stay up and those that get taken down, Duckworth commented:
‘We should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point, but right now, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and one of the countries that are opposed to us, Russia, has put a bounty on American troops’ heads. What really struck me about this speech that the president gave at Mt. Rushmore was that he spent more time worried about honoring dead Confederates than he did talking about the lives of the 130,000 Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19 or warning Russia off of the bounty they’re putting on Americans’ heads.’
Trump has been obsessed with the statues for awhile. There was another push to remove monuments to the Confederacy towards the beginning of Trump’s presidency, and Trump proudly sided with the statues honoring dead racists then, too. More recently, he’s also come out against renaming military bases that feature the names of Confederate generals.
‘His priorities are all wrong here. He should be talking about what we’re going to do to overcome this pandemic, what are we gonna do to push Russia back, and instead, he had no time for that. He spent all his time talking about dead traitors.’
Watch her comments below:
"His priorities are all wrong," Sen. Tammy Duckworth reacts to Pres. Trump's Mt. Rushmore speech where he defended Confederate monuments. "He should be talking about what we're going to do to overcome this pandemic… he spent all his time talking about dead traitors." #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/eWEq750ZPy
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) July 5, 2020
It’s true — during his July 3rd Mt. Rushmore speech, Trump obsessed over the statues. In a clip that CNN showcased this Sunday morning, he ranted:
‘America is facing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.’
That’s just nonsense. If Trump and his allies are so concerned about preserving history, have they ever heard of books?
Taking down a statue honoring a dead racist doesn’t constitute some kind of magical trip back in time to erase American history from existence. Trump and his allies seem to use these excuses to avoid admitting the fact that they’re simply not all that opposed to the statues and what they stand for.