As the winter of 1777 approached, Gen. George Washington encamped at Valley Forge with over 10,000 continental troops under his command. Cold and snow had set in early and Washington’s army suffered. They were poorly prepared for the conditions, had no shelter that did not have to be built, and starvation and frostbite began softening them before British troops ever attacked. It is a story of survival against all odds that every student has heard.
In the midst of Valley Forge’s hardships and chaos, Washington himself endured the severe conditions along with constant criticism from his superiors at the Continental Congress. At one point, Washington wrote, “If the army does not get help soon, in all likelihood it will disband.”
That did not happen and the United States was born. Had Washington quit because of the unfair battle conditions, Donald Trump would never have had the opportunity to exercise his personal desire to be America’s first despot.
Since announcing his campaign in 2015, Trump has been crying “unfair” on a regular basis. Everything from U.S. elections to international agreements earns Trump’s favorite label along with his personal contempt. Unfair has become the Trump regime’s sole basis for policy-making and it is an insult to the spirit of the United States and its founders. It is the White House’s new despicable motto.
Americans of every walk have been facing adversity since Europeans first set foot on the native continent of North America. Fairness has always been a bit out of reach, and easy — like Trump easy money — has forever been an insult to the pride of a nation forged in challenges, ingenuity, and invention. Trump has likely been crying “Unfair!” since he was old enough to speak.
For Trump, Vietnam-era draft regulations were unfair for an able-bodied young man with the occasional pang of a bone spur. Tax laws unfairly constricted his real estate dealings and caused a string of bankruptcies. Today, every agreement and international pact he has reneged on are declaratively unfair to Trump’s vision of America.
You would think that the nation that supposedly elected Trump would be a nation of whiners and quitters just like him. However, America is not a nation of whiners. It is a nation of doers. We do not quit jobs because they are unfair — we find ways to make them better. We do not abandon our search for human and civil rights, equality, and the American Dream because they are difficult and fraught with obstacles.
We march on through adversity, led, ironically, by the biggest fraud and quitter in modern American history.
Last summer, Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. He did not cite any scientific reason, learned advice, or other plausible explanation for bailing on a global agreement with far-reach implications for the future of America and the world. He merely said it was — like so many other things offensive to Trump — “unfair.”
In bailing out of the Paris Accord, Trump left a $2 million gap in funding for the research and programs dedicated to ensuring a sustainable planet for future generations. On Wednesday, in a demonstration of true global leadership that Trump could learn from, French president Emmanuel Macron announced that France would assume the payments defaulted on by the United States.
This week was not the only time in history that France has contributed to the American people’s ideals and goals. After Washington and his army survived the harsh Valley Forge winter, French assistance arrived in the form of an alliance to tip the balance of fairness during the Revolutionary War. Imagine if America’s oldest ally in 1778 had abandoned an agreement because Louis XVI had decided it was simply…“Injuste!”