Sunday, February 28, 2021
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

On Keeping America Great

June 19, 2020 --

The lead, this posting of LPR, will review aspects of President Trump's commencement address to the graduating cadets at West Point, June 13. But, in quoting from the president's address, LPR can't help but begin by taking note of comments concerning the address, from The New York Times, and noteworthy silence about the speech, from the paper. 

What is the new slogan going about from the left, these days? Silence is violence?  The left's silence about violence dishonors the fundamental principles on which the country was founded.

The Times reported that Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark A. Milley had resisted the president's threat to use federal troops "to put down demonstrations against racial injustice" that the Times called "predominantly peaceful but marred at times by looting and rioting." 

The paper added that the resistance from Secretary Esper and General Milley left "a deep schism between the commander-in-chief and the military." 

Later in the report on the West Point commencement, the Times noted that Mr. Espere and General Milley did not attend.  

The Times  however, did not mention that Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville were among the officials who did attend, and were singled out by the president along with West Point Superintendent  Lt. General Darryl A. Williams.  (Gen. Williams, appointed West Point superintended by President Trump, is the first black head of West Point.) 

The paper did mention that the defense secretary sent a video of congratulations to the graduating cadets, but seemed intent on mentioning  the "fraught  moment" in the history of civilian-military relations, pointing to the belated positions taken by Secretary  Esper and Gen. Milley on ending the rioting, and their willingness to rename army installations named for Confederate generals.

The failure of the Times to note the presence at West Point of the Army secretary and Army chief of staff suggests to LPR that the new motto for the Times should be "All the news that fits its agenda."

The paper did quote an allusion by the president to the current turmoil, "'When times are turbulent,  when the road is rough, what matters most is that which is permanent, timeless, enduring and eternal.'" 

Immediately preceding that observation, the president told the graduating cadets that America's survival and "endurance of civilization" depends on people like you.  "It depends on people who love their country with all their hearts and energy and soul." 

The president continued, "It depends on citizens who build. sustain, nurture and defend institutions like this one; that is how societies are made and how progressed is advanced."  The president went on, "What has historically made American unique is the durability of its institutions against the passions and prejudices of the moment." And then he remarked on the need to focus on the permanent "[w]hen times are turbulent."

President Trump cited General Ulysses Grant, General Douglas MacArthur, and Gen. George Patton as "great leaders [who] were not afraid to say what others might say about them. They didn't care. They knew their duty was to protect their country. They knew the Army exists to preserve the republic and the strong foundations upon which it stands: family, God, country, liberty and justice."   

LPR has no doubt that the president includes himself in the company of leaders who don't care what is said of them as they defend the country and its traditions that they love.

The Times's account of the president's speech included his assertion that "We are ending the era of endless wars."  The paper, however, did not mention the promise from President Trump, "We are not the policemen of the world", nor did it mention his quoting Gen. MacArthur: "'In war, there is no substitute for victory."

LPR sees the speech as a challenge to the American people: do you want an America where the mindset is "Blame America First," and arson and looting are defended merely expressions free speech transformed into progressive action? Or do you want an America based on the fundamental principles that motivate West Point graduates: family, God, country, liberty and justice, in the context of Duty, Honor, Country?"

LPR asks its clickters, and requests them to pass along this question to family and friends: What is wrong with the message of President Trump's Commencement Speech to the men and woman of the United States Military Academy. Class of 2020? Won't this message Keep America Great?