Donald Trump’s national tour of negligence continued in South Dakota on Friday night.
Once again ignoring medical expertise and the worsening pandemic, which has killed nearly 130,000 Americans, Trump spoke for 42 minutes in front of about 7,500 tightly packed spectators at an outdoor amphitheater beneath Mount Rushmore.
This was the largest Trump rally to date, exceeding the more than 6,000 people who attended his embarrassing Tulsa event, and the approximately 3,000 who saw the president speak at a church in Arizona. Both of those events were staged indoors.
Friday’s speech, which was followed by an 18-minute fireworks show, was held outside. However, on a night in which the public learned that Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, tested positive for COVID-19, organizers zip-tied some of the chairs together to ensure the public health hazard would be as great as possible.
Not that it would have mattered to this crowd. Few wore masks, signaling to the president and the nationally televised audience that they declared their independence from protecting themselves and those around them.
With National Guardsmen facing down tribal protesters up the road, Trump gave a rare on-script speech in which he continued to signal his support for statues, while currently-breathing Americans are dropping dead all around him.
Trump announced he will sign an Executive Order to establish a new park that will feature more statues of historically achieving Americans from all walks of life. Although he did speak of heritage and history, there was no mention of any Confederate rebels to be included in this new national monument.
The president used a large amount of his time to give a monotone history lesson about each of the four former presidents who adorn Mount Rushmore. He also inveighed against cancel culture, comparing it to totalitarianism, and attacked education and journalism.
Trump briefly talked about his beloved wall and border security, failing to mention how nearly every country in the world currently has a ban on Americans from entering because so many here are infected with coronavirus. While Trump has been singularly focused on preventing immigrants from getting in, his citizens are now prevented from getting out.
The president used terms such as, “far-left fascism,” and “left-wing cultural revolution,” to describe an America in which those who don’t toe the Democratic party line would face draconian repercussions. He also praised President Andrew Jackson on Native American land.
Jackson is famous for forcibly relocating Native Americans in what has become known as, “The Trail of Tears,” in one of this country’s most shameful episodes.
Trump closed his speech by telling the crowd, “the best is yet to come.”
How much worse can it get?