Presidential elections are typically contests between politicians with unambiguously positive views of the United States and competing ideas about how to improve it. This year, however, we must choose between two people with competing perspectives about whether or not a positive view of our country is even possible. President Trump believes the United States is a great nation founded by great men upon whose work we can build an even greater future. His challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, believes the United States has fallen far short of the ostensible principles of its hypocritical founders and that the only way forward is to fundamentally transform it according to some ill-defined vision of social justice.
Biden, the first vice president to serve under a black president, has seen no improvement in racism during the last 75 years.
If this description of Biden’s view seems unfair, consider his Fourth of July pre-recorded message to the voters: “Our country was founded on an idea: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ We’ve never lived up to it. Jefferson himself didn’t. He held slaves.” This trite remark about Jefferson — compared to whom our erstwhile VP is a moral and intellectual midget — tells us far more about Biden than it says about the sage of Monticello. The latter was a man of the 18th century and subject to its cultural mores. Biden has no such excuse for his long association with segregationists and white supremacists. Here are Trump’s comments on Jefferson at Mount Rushmore:
Thomas Jefferson — the great Thomas Jefferson — was 33 years old when he traveled north to Pennsylvania and brilliantly authored one of the greatest treasures of human history, the Declaration of Independence. He also drafted Virginia’s constitution, and conceived and wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a model for our cherished First Amendment.… He was an architect, an inventor, a diplomat, a scholar, the founder of one of the world’s great universities, and an ardent defender of liberty. Americans will forever admire the author of American freedom, Thomas Jefferson.
Trump is not a man to whom it is easy to apply the adjective “humble,” but he has the grace to recognize the genuine greatness of men like Jefferson without indulging in Biden’s tawdry brand of cheap moralizing about their faults. Think about it. Joe Biden was forced to end his 1988 presidential bid for plagiarism, presided over the high-tech lynching of future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and recently told black Americans that they weren’t really black if they failed to vote for him. Yet he has the audacity to admonish us to “live up to the words that founded this nation.” Those words were written by Jefferson, the very man Biden retroactively reprimanded in his Fourth of July message.
President Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech, on the other hand, was devoted almost entirely to the nation’s great accomplishments. This was weirdly characterized by the establishment news media as somehow “dark and divisive.” He told the inspiring stories and incredible achievements of the presidents whose images had been carved in the mountain behind him: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. He also celebrated a long list of other great Americans that only a nation as free and rife with opportunity as the United States could ever have produced. Read the following and name any other single nation that could have such a diverse group:
We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglass. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton … the great Louis Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Mohammad Ali. And only America could have produced them all.… We gave the world the poetry of Walt Whitman, the stories of Mark Twain, the songs of Irving Berlin, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, the style of Frank Sinatra, the comedy of Bob Hope.
Yet all of this falls short of Joe Biden’s exacting standards as elucidated in his Fourth of July message: “American history is no fairy tale. It’s been a constant push-and-pull between two parts of our character: the idea that all men and women — all people — are created equal, and the racism that has torn us apart.” Biden, the first vice president to serve under a black president, has seen no improvement in racism during the last 75 years. Yet he assures us that we now have a unique opportunity. “We have a chance now, to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed, a full share of the American dream.” What he means, of course, is that a vote for him is a vote against “systemic racism.”
That’s a message that many black Americans will find less than reassuring. If the past is prologue, a Biden administration would be a disaster for minorities in general. In addition to his well-documented association with segregationists and white supremacists, Biden is seen by many black voters as the driving force behind the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which they believe incentivized police departments to incarcerate black people. Meanwhile, President Trump has delivered for the black community — particularly relating to historically low unemployment levels and the First Step Act, which repaired much of the damage done by the 1994 crime law.
All of which brings us back to the decision we face in November: One choice is a man who views the United States as an exceptional nation created by exceptional men with a unique vision that will lead us to ever greater heights if we adhere to it. The alternative is a man who, despite his 47 years as a “public servant,” seems to believe the nation was created by greedy racists based on fraudulent principles and that only a fundamental transformation of our government and way of life will save us from a dystopian existence whose contours will be controlled by “the 1 percent.” In other words, the choice is between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. This will not be a tough call for yours truly.