Former Vice President Joe Biden offered a message of hope and unity on the Fourth of July that was in sharp contrast to the divisive tone of President Donald Trump’s address at Mount Rushmore on Friday. In a message about racial justice, Biden said that the United States “never lived up” to its basic principle that “all men are created equal.” In a video containing images of protests and references to the Black Lives Matter movement, Biden offered a hopeful tone, saying that “We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country” and “live up to the words that founded this nation. “Trump, on the other hand, led a” dark speech “that constituted” a complete culture war against a straw man’s version of the left that he portrayed as encouraging havoc and to move the country toward totalitarianism, “as the New York Times puts it.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee did not mention Trump in his video message, but his words marked a clear distinction from Trump saying that those who dared to question the country’s “heroes” are part of a “radical ideology.” Trump insisted that the latest protests that have engulfed the country have cemented divisions. “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to obliterate our history, to advocate our heroes, to erase our values and to indoctrinate our children,” Trump said. “Angry crowds are trying to tear down statues of our founders, spoil our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crimes in our cities.”
Because Trump insisted that a “left-wing cultural revolution” was trying to rewrite America’s history, Biden emphasized that it is important to remember that the country’s past is not exactly perfect. “American history is no fairy tale,” Biden said. “There has been a constant push and pull between two parts of our character, the idea that all men and women – all people – are created equal and the racism that has torn us apart.”
In an op-ed piece, Biden went on with this idea, noting that “Independence Day is a celebration of our sustained march toward greater justice.” He also slammed Trump directly in the op-ed, saying he is the main person responsible for throwing the nation off course in his quest for a more perfect union. “Every day he finds new ways to torment and dismantle our democracy – from baseless attacks on our right to vote to the use of military power against Americans who protest peacefully for racial rights,” Biden wrote. “He has systematically gone for the protection of our democracy: the free press, the courts and our fundamental belief that no one in America – not even the president – is above the law.”
The bid campaign also heavily criticized Trump’s Friday speech. “The entire country suffers from the overwhelming costs of having a negligent, divisive president who gives nothing else but his own profit,” campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. It didn’t take long for the Trump campaign to push back as he doubled the sharing message. “The idea that Biden, with his 40-year DC failure, has any idea or ability to strengthen our union is absurd,” said campaign communications manager Tim Murtaugh. “Due to the political pressure from the left, Biden is forced to agree that America was fundamentally flawed from the beginning and still is today. However, President Trump is proud of our history and believes strongly in our current greatness. “
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