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Fresh from his visits abroad with the president of Russia, the dictator of North Korea and the murderous young crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump has returned to America in time to stage a speech from the Lincoln Memorial on the Fourth of July.
No other American president has made speeches on this holiday. American presidents have recognized that July Fourth is not about the politics of either party. It is a day to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document that created our nation as the democracy unsurpassed in the modern world. It is a day when Americans gather at picnics and concerts, joined in our common love and pride in our country. It is a day when we hear once again Thomas Jefferson’s words,”We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
Donald Trump does not believe that all men are equal. By his words and his actions, both prior to 2016 and in the years since, he has demonstrated at home and abroad that he has never believed these words. The policies of his administration are further proof that he does not believe all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
But Americans do believe this, and not just on the Fourth of July. Americans have sacrificed to preserve the ideals of the American dream for their children and grandchildren. Americans have fought and suffered and died in this country and on foreign soil to keep our great nation the beacon of hope for all the world.
I fervently hope that this president will honor the dignity of his office and allow the Fourth of July to be a celebration of our country, not a rally for himself.
Ann Y. Barnes