President Trump at the White House Conference on American History
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Wealth & Poverty Review Defending American Values, and History

Published at City Journal

In a speech yesterday at the National Archives, President Trump elevated a formerly obscure academic discipline — critical race theory — into a major theme in his campaign for reelection. In his 17-minute address, the president denounced critical race theory as a “Marxist doctrine holding that America is a wicked and racist nation,” and that, if left unchecked, “will dissolve the bonds that tie us together [and] will destroy our country.”

After months of political instability, which began with the coronavirus lockdowns and accelerated into the George Floyd riots, the president has finally settled on a rationale for his campaign: he has positioned himself as the defender of American history, values, and principles — while the radical Left, he argues, wants to burn them down. He identifies critical race theory, which he described as an “ideological poison,” as the animating philosophy behind the “left-wing mobs [that] have torn down statues of our founders, desecrated our memorials, and carried out a campaign of violence and anarchy.”

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