President Trump delivered a warning to fellow Republicans that if they don’t toughen up and take a stance against the radical left or the country may be lost in November.
During an interview in the Oval Office with RealClearPolitics, Trump said that we are in a culture war and that softer Republicans had to step up. “If the Republicans don’t toughen up and get smart and get strong and protect our heritage and protect our country,” Trump explained, “I think they’re going to have a very tough election.”
The president expounded upon some of the ideas he put forth in his polarizing Mount Rushmore speech on July 3. During that address, Trump rejected what he called “a new far-left fascism” and a “left-wing cultural revolution” that he said threatened American civilization.
During his Mount Rushmore speech, Trump specifically called out protesters seeking to remove statues of American Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
What had begun as a push to eradicate memorials of the Confederacy expanded to include the former presidents, as well as President Abraham Lincoln, who led the country during the Civil War and famously ended slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation.
He also pushed back against “cancel culture,” wherein people have been shaming others for past social media posts they disagree with, and in some cases threatening their livelihoods by trying to use the posts to get them fired from their jobs.
“This is the very definition of totalitarianism,” Trump said, “and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.”
The issue has become so troubling that even leftists are becoming aware that they may be crossing a line. Popular liberals author J.K. Rowling, activist Gloria Steinem, and linguist Noam Chomsky all signed a letter published in Harper’s Magazine which said that liberals have exhibited “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”
The letter also states that the recent shifts in culture have “ intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity.”
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter explains. “We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.”
The letter goes on to say that the “stifling atmosphere” that restricts public debate “invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation.”
“We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences,” the letter says. “If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us.”
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway blasted the same cancel culture earlier this week during an interview saying, “It is easier to talk and squeal, and complain, and bellyache belligerently and lie … than to actually help people.”
“People are trying to shame people from their jobs, their disagreement with any dissent, they’re trying to cancel individuals.”