Trump warns of a 'far left fascism' in America as he marks Independence Day by launching a new culture war

040720 Donald Trump at Mount Rushmore Independence Day AP
President Donald Trump at Mount Rushmore National Memorial ahead of American Independence Day. Credit: AP

The President marked Independence Day overnight with a speech as dark and divisive as any he has given since he took office.

He was visiting the historic Mount Rushmore monument in South Dakota, where the profiles of four American presidents are carved into the rock face.

This was Donald Trump stoking tension, hoping to rally his core supporters and seeking to provoke his opponents.

US President Donald Trump speaks at Mount Rushmore National Monument Credit: Alex Brandon/AP

To do that on the eve of the most unifying day in the American calendar - well, it’s a calculated step by a leader who faces political defeat in November.

So Trump has returned to his traditional, incendiary playbook - and this time adding to the culture war some extra venom, using the label of “fascism” to attack his enemies. 

It reminded me of his Inaugural Address when he warned of American carnage.This time he claimed that America is “witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”

Donald Trump watches watches a flyover by the U.S. Navy Blue Angles at Mount Rushmore Credit: AP

He launched a furious attack on the Black Lives Matter movement that is seeking to achieve racial justice and wants a reckoning over slavery and systemic discrimination.“Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders,” Trump warned, “deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

He accused Democrats of embracing “far left fascism” in education, journalism and culture. 

There was almost no mention of the surge in virus cases underway in many US states. Currently there are 50,000 new cases a day - an alarming deterioration in the situation.

July 4th is normally a day for Americans to celebrate this country, and its unity, freedoms and prosperity. 

This year is different. Americans are fearful the pandemic has now regained a foothold across the country.

And there is a political schism being driven wider by the President himself.

No wonder this Independence Day will witness a strange blend of traditional celebrations, significant protests - and widespread anxiety.