Why Doesn’t Trump See the Beauty and History in National Monuments, Too?

Last week, President Donald Trump made a dubious and gross argument for the need to maintain Confederate monuments in America. This week, Trumpís administration is expected to announce that itís scaling back funding and protection to some national monuments. Wait, what?

The Interior Department is finishing a review of 21 national monuments, with a final recommendation expected on Thursday. Conservationists believe that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will endorse shrinking the size of some protected lands and declassifying other sites entirely.

Sign the petition: If You Like Beauty, Don’t Touch Our National Monuments, Trump

The timing is especially egregious after Trump defended Confederate statues as beautiful. ďSad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,Ē Trump tweeted.

Are our countryís national monuments not beautiful and an important part of our countryís history and culture? It sure seems as if Trumpís sudden concern for cultural conservation is a barely subtle excuse to align himself with his white nationalist base.

If you want to further poke holes in Trumpís supposed non-racist defense of confederate statues, itís almost too easy. Trump doesnít seem to have any problem ignoring the cultural significance of sacred Native American land so he can run an oil pipeline through it. His budget proposal would have eliminated the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, so heís hardly a champion of arts and culture.

Heck, back when museums asked Trump to preserve and donate valuable sculptures on property that he would later turn into Trump Tower, he initially agreed Ė then destroyed them anyway deciding it would be cheaper to just demolish the entire building. So much for valuing statues!

Trump and his Interior Departmentís impending hatchets to national monuments is not just hypocritical, itís unprecedented. Never in Americaís history has a president revoked protection to a national monument.

While the country is still waiting for the formal announcement, everything the administration has said leading up to this reveal has strongly indicated that protected lands are in trouble. Trump referred to protecting large swaths of land as “abuse” and insisted it was time to ďreturn control to the people.Ē

By people, though, he specifically means corporations, which have economic interests in mining, drilling and deforesting a lot of these areas. Itís completely phony that declassification of national monuments is for ďthe peopleĒ since the general population will no longer be able to enjoy these sites once their ruined for the profit of private companies.

Though Trumpís concern for beauty and history is pretty transparently a convenient excuse, why not throw his words back in his face to try to get him to do something good for a change? If Trump does want to distinguish himself from his neo-Nazi fans, then he better support funding and supporting the countryís non-racist monuments, too.

Sign this petition to put pressure on the president to maintain the U.S.ís treasured landmarks and lands. Itís too soon after his proclamations in favor of monuments to backtrack so blatantly Ė even for Trump.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

75 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill24 days ago

You need to apply this same article to our historical monuments! The same can be said about all the statues of Lee, etc.

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s1 months ago

Awful President. Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s1 months ago

Awful President. Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s1 months ago

Awful President. Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s1 months ago

Awful President. Thank you

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Margie FOURIE
Margie F2 months ago

Very sad.

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Sonia M

So sad.Petition signed thanks for sharing

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Rachel -
Rachel -2 months ago

Probably because there are no golf courses, swimsuit models, and gold furnishings there.

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Chad A
Chad A2 months ago

Our culture has so fixated on destroying nature that we do not seem to believe anything is alive anymore.

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Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O2 months ago

So sad. Here's hoping he has a change of heart....

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