President Donald Trump shared a dramatic video from his speech at Mt. Rushmore on Saturday, and the comments are heated. The video is just over a minute long and features audio snippets of the president's voice along with swelling music set to clips from the event on Friday night. Many thought the promotional video only proved Trump's critics right about his event on Friday night.
Trump's video seemed to edit together highlights from a longer speech on Friday, beginning with him solemnly promising that Mt. Rushmore would not be "desecrated." This statement struck many viewers as odd since there was no imminent fear for the monument beforehand. Things only got stranger from there, with the president seeming to allude to a national identity crisis while footage of military jets and fireworks played on the screen.
"Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity, so that we can no longer understand ourselves, or America's destiny," Trump said in the voice-over. Quotes like this led The New York Times to call Trump's speech a "divisive culture war message," along with other news outlets.
At the same time, the imagery in Trump's video rubbed some the wrong way as well. It was highly militaristic, with several shots of an Air Force fly-over and a military band gathered in front of the stage. It gave many people the impression that Trump was implying a real-life war between himself and his political opponents — even the so-called "Far-Left" within the United States.
All in all, Trump's video did little to united Americans on the Fourth of July, judging by the responses it got. Here is a look at how Twitter responded to the president's speech highlights on Saturday morning.
“Now, how can I get my face carved up there? I know, I will get rid of the other ones...”— Evan Pegden (@EPegs) July 4, 2020
In the middle of the worst pandemic in recent US history, Trump decides the best thing to talk about is protecting statues. Not people’s lives by wearing masks, not protestors being killed by cops, not the millions who have recently lost their jobs, but statues. Fucking statues https://t.co/LsnieVrPWj— Pablo Pratt (@pablo_pratt) July 4, 2020
Covid 19 was there.— Jerry (@arky6777) July 4, 2020
You all can be proud to be an American. God bless your great country.— Sascha (@wichi_78) July 4, 2020
Amen!— David Shupe (@DavidShupe7) July 4, 2020
god bless the usa 🇺🇸 and the best president of all time the most excellent mr donald trump 🙏— Nino Milla (@ninomilla) July 4, 2020
🙏— 老墨 (@laumo10) July 4, 2020
This bullshit. We payed for a campaign event and photo op. Can this money be recouped after he is out? https://t.co/wIFAOWyan5— Andrew Bloom (@AndrewWBloom) July 4, 2020
You suck! You need to pay me back for your stupid campaign commercials. Start with getting me some coffee. https://t.co/YyMFmV17uc— juliahosack 🖖🏻⚽️🌈🦄🤟🏻 (@juliahosack) July 4, 2020
cool desecration of our national monuments— Christine (Hour of Power Sundays 6pm) Blackburn (@StoryWorthy) July 4, 2020
That's right stamp all over the Native Americans sacred land without permission.— Niki Taylor (@niki_jtaylor) July 4, 2020