Of the people, by the people, for the people…if you have your VIP credentials.
The annual Independence Day celebrations in Washington DC have always been public celebrations of the founding of our nation with large parades and phenomenal fireworks displays on the National Mall — until President Trump decided to channel his ambitions for a totalitarian state-like military parade into a 4th of July party that he could use as a defacto campaign rally.
Now Trump has added insult to injury with the announcement that the area right in front of the Lincoln Memorial where he’ll deliver remarks will be reserved for ticketed VIPs in the hoi polloi of the president’s elite supporters rather than be open access general admission for the average American citizen.
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According to a report by CNN, the area “immediately around the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and about midway down through the Reflecting Pool” will be set aside exclusively for ticketed invitees of the president, described as “friends, family, and members of the military.”
The details of the reserved section come from Matthew Miller, the special agent in charge of the US Secret Service Washington Field Office, who revealed the plans in a news conference yesterday with local and federal officials.
While the VIP tickets will be free, their value can be calculated by the manner in which the carefully chosen invited audience provides Trump with the optics of a friendly foreground as he delivers whatever set of political lies disguised as patriotic platitudes he chooses to deliver at the event.
One can see why he would want to ensure that none of the majority of the country who oppose his heinous policies could come close to the podium from which he will speak. After all, it wouldn’t be a good look for Trump to be drowned out by angry protestors so different than the crowds of admiring deplorables who populate the crowds at his ego-boosting rallies.
Trump’s Independence Day ceremony, which he has dubbed “Salute to America,” is a rare July Fourth event in Washington DC actually attended by a sitting president — most of whom have had the good sense to minimize security concerns of local police and Secret Service agents by staying away from the massive crowds that the holiday celebration typically attract.
Indeed, according to The Washington Post, the District of Columbia government is being forced to utilize money from its Emergency Planning and Security fund to pay for the security costs for the President’s address, since the federal government doesn’t have the money to cover the costs due to its $7 million in debt left over from the 2017 inauguration.
While that fact raises some interesting questions about why the millions of dollars money raised by Trump’s Inaugural Committee wasn’t utilized to cover those security costs and what they actually were spent on, suffice it to say that the man who would rather spend millions in taxpayer dollars on visits to his own golf resorts than ensure that refugee children have soap and toothpaste really doesn’t care, does he?
The Trump administration is well on its way to achieving its goal of transforming America into a feudalist oligarchy ruled by the ultra-wealthy who donate to his campaign coffers.
Unless you’re content with a role as a poor and miserable serf under the thumbs of rich aristocrats, you had better be fighting as hard as you can to ensure that our nation is rid of Donald Trump by the time the next Independence Day arrives.
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Original reporting by Veronica Stracqualursi at CNN.