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The Right Resistance: Report from Barcelona – Trump must honor culture in MAGA agenda

To begin with, I admit that when we booked a cruise tour of Italy and Spain for this month that I was somewhat less enthused about the Spanish destinations. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly was interested in Barcelona, our third stop on the relatively quick jaunt around the

Mediterranean, but I knew somewhat less about what we’d find there compared to the “headlining” ports of Rome and Naples (site of Pompeii, etc.) and Florence.


My previous exposure to Barcelona stemmed from watching the 1992 Olympics on TV, specifically recalling how vividly the presenters of the games described the beauty and friendliness of the city, leaving a positive impression on myself for a future visit, which didn’t occur until this week. My daughter had preceded us in this regard, visiting Barcelona nine years ago. When asked to describe Spain’s second largest city, she replied that the architecture there was distinctive and memorable (more on this below) and that it was a “fun” city with entire streets dedicated to people meeting and “hanging out.”


My kid’s description of the city turned out to be accurate, as Barcelona itself appeared to be a very large and welcoming city with residents who were similar in manner to those who inhabited today’s Rome and Naples. Spaniards didn’t appear to be the least bit put off by the hordes of visitors who made the city feel densely packed and, for a lack of a better way to describe it, crowded.


Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean in eastern Spain, Barcelona itself features a rich history, but the evidence of the city’s ancient past is not quite as evident and dominating as was that of Rome, though there is an “old” section which still contains relics and a huge stone wall which dates from the period of Roman control two thousand years ago.


Not exactly overshadowed, Barcelona, from Wikipedia, “Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After joining with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the confederation of the Crown of Aragon, Barcelona, which continued to be the capital of the Principality of Catalonia, became the most important city in the Crown of Aragon and the main economic and administrative centre of the Crown, only to be overtaken by Valencia, wrested from Moorish control by the Catalans, shortly before the dynastic union between the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon in 1492. Barcelona became the centre of Catalan separatism, briefly becoming part of France during the 17th century Reapers' War and again in 1812 until 1814 under Napoleon…


“Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is home to two of the most prestigious universities in Spain: the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions. In addition, many international sport tournaments have been played here.”


So Barcelona more or less dates to the times of Rome’s founding, but, as previously mentioned, the outward signs of ancient human activity aren’t nearly as numerous there. The architectural work of Antoni Gaudí particularly caught our attention seeing as the city’s main tourist attraction – and signature site – is the incredible Sagrada Família, the world’s largest unfinished church. The cathedral mimics some of the attributes of Italian churches and, at least in size, is comparable to the unbelievable St. Peter’s Basilica.


Barcelona is more modern than were the cities we visited in Italy (Rome and Naples), which lent itself to more easily finding our way around as well as appreciating the wider avenues and visitor-friendly areas for concentrations of gobs of tourists and diners, shoppers and good time-seekers.


I was impressed by the sheer size of Barcelona, which, with its suburbs gave it much more of a sprawling feel than the other cities we visited. To me, having grown up in southern California in the Los Angeles metro area, which goes on for dozens and dozens of miles, it made Barcelona feel much more like an American-type city. The cleanliness of the city center (which is pretty much all we saw) contrasted greatly with today’s American blue city downtowns, however, which are overrun with crime, illegal immigration and homelessness to the point where the non-official residents of these places have completely taken over.


I have a friend who relayed details on a recent visit to Los Angeles, for example, who described fearing for his safety by merely exiting his hotel for a short walk down the street to get coffee at Starbucks. There was no such apprehension in Barcelona for us, and the large and visible police presence lent itself the impression that one could walk around freely without worry of being accosted by scruffy homeless inhabitants.


As everyone knows, Donald Trump has spent a lot of time in New York City recently where he’s spoken to citizens gathered near the courthouse and even visited local businesses when he had an opportunity, taking the chance to thank New York’s finest whenever he had a microphone near. Trump, this year’s law and order candidate, has been emphasizing how he intends to restore order to America’s cities if elected for a second term to the presidency, a vow I’m guessing he intends to keep.


I’m also presuming Trump has probably traveled to Barcelona and visited some of the places we did on our brief one-day tour, and I’m sure he must’ve been impressed with the pride the local authorities exhibited through their well-run (by appearances) city. Part of Trump’s Make America Great Again platform includes making the country beautiful again – which cannot take place without a major infusion of cash to clean up the locales, and by returning to an old-fashioned emphasis on law enforcement and civic responsibility.


Again, this is conjecture based on what I observed, but the Spanish leaders don’t appear to be plagued by illegal immigration as America certainly is – and many of Old Europe’s countries as well, primarily aliens from northern Africa. Spain’s culture appears to be tighter and more unified than ours would be with half of the American political spectrum not only advocating an influx of uninvited aliens – but paving the way for them in the U.S.


It's also common knowledge that there have been terrorist attacks in Europe in our lifetimes, a fact that doesn’t seem lost on the Spanish authorities. The immensely crowded squares and touristy avenues didn’t carry a feeling of impending danger, however, but with the world the way it is today it’s best to be cautious.


Like in Rome, there are lessons for America’s political leaders found in the streets and stunningly modern architecture of Barcelona. First, there still is a place for religion in America. Most visitors to European cities realize that inhabitants of the continent are much less observant than they have been in previous times, but it’s unmistakable that Europe’s most enduring art and architecture revolves around the Bible and Christianity.


It's not clear that the Spaniards still take pride in their faith as they did in the past, but faith cannot easily be tucked away and forgotten about like it is in parts of secular America. American political leaders gain nothing by deemphasizing the importance of concepts like religious freedom, freedom of worship, freedom of conscience and, more attenuated, prayer in schools.


I can’t say for sure, but here’s guessing most of the visitors to the Sagrada Família went there knowing that the site still functions as a church and the iconography and art fixtures make no attempt to hide that fact. As previously mentioned, the church itself is unfinished, and its keepers intend to complete Antoni Gaudí’s plan to the letter.


There’s history there as well as religion. I’d have a hard time envisioning the Spanish culture tolerating bands of miscreants protesting and causing physical damage to Barcelona’s most sacred sites, including a statue of Christopher Columbus. Spaniards, unlike today’s American leftists, take pride in their culture and history.


To the extent that Trump is able to influence such things during a second term as president (if he gets one), the 47th president must dig deep into using the bully pulpit to fight back against the leftist forces of ignorance and destruction.


Similar to Rome, the citizens of Barcelona also revere scientific learning and excellence. Gaudí may have dreamed up his architecture, but there were craftsman and construction personnel who made the visions into reality.


As Trump has often done, he highlights the skill and accomplishments of people who work with their hands – and he’s been rewarded with their loyalty. Senile Joe Biden repeatedly mentions that he’s a friend to the union heads and public employee conglomerations, but he does so by promising more federal government protections for the political class, not the men and women doing the work.


Further, the Sagrada Família – and, I’m guessing most of Barcelona’s ever-present art and architecture – was and is continuing to be funded purely through private donations. The government doesn’t have to have a role in everything. In fact, in America, government ruins everything it touches, because of set-asides, over-regulation and artistic scrutiny of everything – except for “art” sanctioned by the leftists at the National Endowment for the Arts.


That’s right – a government agency decides what projects to fund. Would they choose a giant cathedral in the middle of a city as a worthy recipient for a financial boost? Doubtful.


Much of the more recent United States-based artwork includes wall paintings of George Floyd and statues dedicated to liberal Democrats in addition to the renaming of old streets and buildings to reflect the more contemporary interpretation of their historic value. I’m frankly surprised that any monuments to the Confederacy still exist.


Donald J. Trump’s work in formulating the planks of the MAGA agenda is already impressive and worthy of a vote this fall, but there are lessons to be learned from visiting cities such as Barcelona. Just because something is old and contains questionable aspects of history doesn’t make it invalid. Culture means things, too. Hopefully, Trump will ingrain the teachings in his 2024 campaign.

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