Trump: 'We are not going to apologize for America'
Evoking memories of Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump addressed the graduating class of the Naval Academy, giving a full-throated defense of U.S. history, saying, "We are not going to apologize for America."
"Together there is nothing Americans can't do, absolutely nothing," Trump told 2018 graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy. "In recent years, and even decades, too many people have forgotten that truth. They've forgotten that our ancestors trounced an empire, tamed a continent, and triumphed over the worst evils in history."
He added: "America is the greatest fighting force for peace, justice and freedom in the history of the world. We have become a lot stronger lately. We are not going to apologize for America. We are going to stand up for America."
You didn't really think Newsweek would let that pass unchallenged, did you?
Before Europeans arrived in what became the United States, Native Americans occupied the land but were forced to relinquish territory as the new Americans pushed westward as part of what was termed "manifest destiny." In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which led to the deaths of thousands of Native Americans.
Reminds me of that scene in Airplane II where the gayish air traffic control operator was asked for an update from Robert Stack's McCroskey for "absolutely everything that's happened up till now."
Jacobs: Well, let's see. First the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di's clothes. I couldn't believe it.
Newsweek's analysis of U.S. history was about as sophisticated.
Trump previously caused controversy when he held an event honoring Native Americans in the Oval Office last November with a portrait of Jackson in the background. Trump has regularly praised Jackson, although at times with a questionable grasp of history. He has also repeatedly referred to Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has claimed Native American heritage," as "Pocahontas."
"A nation must have pride in its history to have confidence in its future," Trump said Friday. The president's comments mirrored a tweet he sent out in March celebrating National Agriculture Day.
"Our Nation was founded by farmers," he wrote. "Our independence was won by farmers. And our continent was tamed by farmers. Our farmers always lead the way – we are PROUD of them, and we are DELIVERING for them! #NationalAgricultureDay.
Well, no, the president's comments about agriculture did not "mirror" his patriotic sentiments, except in the sense that he was praising America, and that's a no-no.
I get it. You simply can't talk about America this way. How about slavery? How about racism? How about genocide? How about oppressing women, child labor, anti-immigrant bias, denying workers' rights...?
Did I mention racism?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating America's monumental achievements and its immensely positive impact on the human race without bringing up our many and varied sins. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pointing out American exceptionalism or our contributions to peace and freedom in the world.
These things are historical facts whether the left likes it or not. It speaks to the complexity of our history that these accomplishments exist side by side with our sins. But they do, and to highlight nothing but the negative without bringing up the positive is simple-minded and juvenile.
Trump's Reaganesque speech is exactly what those graduates needed to hear.