MINOT, N.D. -- This may be the strangest Fourth of July holiday in my lifetime.
As we celebrate our nation's founding, the federal government is mobilizing the National Guard to protect monuments in Washington, D.C., many of them dedicated to our founders, from violent protests.
In recent weeks memorials to numerous American luminaries have been defaced and destroyed.
People like George Washington, who fought British tyranny; Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the words "all men are created equal" in our Declaration of Independence even as he failed to live up to them; Ulysses S. Grant, who fought the Confederacy and then the Ku Klux Klan and, as president, signed into law desegregation legislation about a century before the 20th Century civil rights movement.
What started as righteous anger about the death of George Floyd, and law enforcement abuse, and turned into a long-overdue effort to destroy the embarrassing fetishization of the traitorous Confederacy, has become an outpouring of bile for the concept of America itself.
It's hard not to see this moment as the culmination of the American left's der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen.
Dutschke sought to fight a war of position, infiltrating the institutions of government and education and entertainment and using their power to foment a revolution in the greater society.
As we watch the mob attack statues of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who is cheering them on?
Academics from America's great institutions of learning.
Celebrities from America's globally dominant entertainment industry.
Even the news media, an institution aimed at objectively chronicling history, are seeing a revolution in their newsrooms. At the New York Times, an editor got canned after an internal uprising over publishing a provocative editorial by a sitting U.S. Senator.
At the Washington Post, legendary editor Marty Baron is fighting for old-school journalistic values against a mob of young journalists who want to publish their woke hot takes on Twitter.
America has flaws, yes. Great warts that blemish our history, among them slavery and racism. We shouldn't be afraid of talking about those things.
We should, however, reject a political movement that refuses to acknowledge the greatness in between those warts. A movement that seeks to tear down the icons of American greatness instead of expanding them to celebrate perspectives from traditionally marginalized communities. Like Blacks and Native Americans and women.
That movement doesn't want to improve America. They want to replace it with something else.
This Fourth of July we ready the fireworks and the potato salad to celebrate the birth of a country untold millions of immigrants chose, warts and all, as their promised land.
Some wish to define this nation only by its sins, and, in this fraught moment, it feels like they're winning.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at email@example.com.