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July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — President Trump’s “Salute to America” was exactly what the country needed. The last two weeks have been a total drain on the nation’s soul thanks to the left.

From Nike’s decision to cancel their Betsy Ross shoes to a Democratic debate that saw candidates talk more about what they would do for illegal immigrants than out of work Midwesterners, the president’s enemies seem to think there is nothing good in these United States, if there ever was.

But the president gave the people something to be proud of Thursday with his patriotic event, an event that, much to the chagrin of the left (who incorrectly claimed it would be a display of authoritarianism and an ode to Trump’s ego), was about everything other than himself.

Highlighting the various heroic figures of America’s past, the president’s nonpartisan remarks at the Lincoln Memorial accomplished something not one of the Democrats currently running for the highest office in the land could ever do — give Americans a reason to love their country.

Try, for a moment, to imagine Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders praising General Douglas MacArthur, touting the accomplishments of the armed forces, and embracing the Christian-themed Battle Hymn of the Republic, as Trump did yesterday.

You can’t. For them, America is not exceptional. It’s a racist, xenophobic, and mysognisitc country that should apologize for its past. America needs radical change if she really wants to be great.

Such extremist views are exactly why Democrats are in big trouble in 2020 and may well lose in a landslide. Americans don’t want to be lectured to about the faults of their past, even if they have previously fallen short. They, like a good Catholic who just confessed their sins to a priest, want to be inspired to move beyond their bad behavior. They want to be encouraged to achieve great things. Trump’s speech did that, even if he himself doesn’t always live up to the rhetoric he laid out.

Trump’s “Salute to America” served as an antidote to the deep-seated hatred liberals have for our country. The president's talk about God and his celebration of good ol’ fashioned Americana undoubtedly triggered every last one of them. At the same time, it reminded middle-class, hard-working Americans of the fact that they have a president who shares their love of country and is unapologetic in showing it. In other words, the event was a win-win that Trump needs to make an annual tradition.

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Stephen Kokx is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching, politics, and spirituality. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. His essays have appeared in a variety of outlets, including Catholic Family News and He is the author of St. Alphonsus for the 21st Century: A Handbook for Holiness.