A few thoughts on the Fourth of July
It’s the Fourth of July, the third we’re commemorating under the Trump regime.
Donald Trump has finally gone ahead and is attempting to ruin even this sacred holiday by hijacking it in a display of ego and self-aggrandizement.
He’s fascinated, as all cowards are, with military display and pomp. He sees his friends Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, and wants to sit at a reviewing stand as the military bows in obeisance to him.
Of course, as always, he misreads what this country is about.
The US is the world’s greatest military power. But it is also, despite what Trump wants, a supremely civilian power.
It doesn’t truck in military parades. Even the parades after World War II didn’t have military hardware. They just honored returning troops who had defeated the specter of fascism around the world. It was the people that mattered, not the weapons.
Trump is enamored of the hardware. Of planes and tanks and missiles. He sees that as the basis of American power. When in fact, America is its people.
Parades will take place all over the country, in big cities and small towns. They will feature marching bands and baton twirlers and the local Kiwanis club. They may feature servicemembers parading in uniform. But they won’t feature tanks and guns. They will be expressions of the civilian nature of this Republic, where the people rule, not tinpot dictators and their generals.
Trump, as always, is trying to fill the gaping empty hole which is where his soul should be. He’s a heroin addict, except his drug is adulation. He needs to be reassured that he is important, that he matters, that he’s not a joke. And all his attempts to fill that hole merely reinforce the fact that he isn’t important, that he doesn’t matter, that he is the biggest of all jokes. That’s tragic enough in a private citizen; in a president, it can have devastating consequences.
So he hijacks our sacred holiday, a holiday where, before, partisanship was put aside, and all Americans commemorate our still-imperfect Union, but a Union we strive to perfect. This will be another failure to add to his tally. The sadness is that a not-insignificant number of our fellow-citizens will see nothing wrong with this. Trumpism wouldn’t survive without Trumpists. And Trumpists predated Trump, and will live on after he’s left the stage.
On this July 4th, let us rededicate ourselves to the proposition that all people are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. This is what we’re fighting for.
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