Trump’s Vanity Campaign Parade

Garish? Gaudy? Tacky? Wasteful? Utterly inappropriate? Thy name is Trump …

Greg Sargent:

New details are emerging about Trump’s plans. The Post reports that the National Park Service will now divert millions of dollars previously earmarked to improve parks across the country to fund Trump’s celebration on the Mall.

Meanwhile, a White House official tells The Post that the plans include a plane from Air Force One’s fleet soaring overhead at precisely the moment that Trump takes the stage. Tanks will take part in the display.

Finally, the White House is handing out tickets to the event to GOP donors and political appointees. Passes are being distributed by the Republican National Committee and Trump’s reelection campaign.

As many critics have pointed out, by politicizing July 4th so nakedly, Trump has inevitably transformed the celebration into a campaign event. It remains to be seen whether he will do so explicitly in his speech, but either way, that conversion has already been implicitly accomplished.

There’s no way his speech won’t be a campaign speech. He doesn’t know how to give any other kind of speech.

A never-Trump Republican named Tim Miller put it this way:

President Donald Trump is planning the #InternationalChocolateDay version of July 4th.

It’s all phony branding, no history.

It will be a gaudy TRUMP extravaganza, replete with tanks on the mall, “USA” spelled out across the sky, a rendering of the president’s massive hands with USA tattooed across the palm, a musical extravaganza hosted by Uncle Jesse from Full House, an “enormous” American flag, and a “special appearance” by the Sesame Street muppets. (Only one item in that list is made-up, the rest were provided, unironically, by the Department of Interior).

The TRUMP version of Independence Day swaps out liberty and self-government for owning the libs and self-aggrandizement.

There are reports that Trump has ordered military top brass to stand next to him on the reviewing stand. He is wrapping himself in the power and authority of American military might, in other words. As Charles Pierce put it, “This is out-and-out banana republic authoritarian performance art.”

To what end, other to glorify himself and get himself re-elected? Oh, and to make some money, as we can assume a lot of visiting dignitaries sitting in the roped-off VIP seats will be staying in Trump’s Washington hotel.

Trump is a weak and cowardly man who craves to be seen as stong and heroic. So he is armoring himself in displays of military glory. Back to Greg Sargent:

The authoritarian nationalist leader typically rewrites the story of the nation in his own image. Our own homegrown authoritarian nationalist has proved particularly devoted to this fusion of national mythmaking and self-hagiography, often delivered in his own unique language of crass, gaudy spectacle.

The historians tell us that this is what authoritarian nationalists do. As Harvard’s Jill Lepore puts it, they replace history with tried-and-true fictions — false tales of national decline at the hands of invented threats, melded to fictitious stories of renewed national greatness, engineered by the leader himself, who is both author of the fiction and its mythic hero.

Sound familiar?

But at the core of Trump’s celebration there actually will be a vision of America — or, at least, of American greatness, and more to the point, of his own imagined restoration of that greatness. For you cannot disentangle Trump’s vision of both those things from his paeans to the strength of our military.

Trump campaigned on the false story of an America in steep decline. He embellished this story with endless lies and demagoguery about immigrants, and about how international engagement supposedly resulted in foreign leaders “laughing at” and “humiliating” us. Central to this tale was the constant refrain that our military has been “depleted,” the ultimate symbol of that national decline.

Trump’s claim to having rebuilt the military is also foundational to his tale of revived American greatness — and his own authorship of it. He pulled out of the Iran deal — international diplomacy had produced a “weak” solution — and will now force Iranian capitulation by threatening unilateral “obliteration.”

There is no doubt that Trump envisions this July 4th speech — delivered amid a show of military might — as a display of his own imagined role in “restoring” U.S. greatness.

Trump is all id and instinct; it’s possible he actually believes he somehow magically restored the military — in just two years — from ruin to greatness. I can’t tell if there have been any significant changes in U.S. military strength from what it was in 2016, and I can’t find anyone other than Trump and right-wing think tank “fellows” who say otherwise. But we know that Trump cares nothing about national defense, or he wouldn’t have insulted NATO and Japan, kissed Kim Jong Un’s ass for a photo op, and winked at Russian interference in our elections. The military exists only to reflect Trump’s glory.

There may be another reason Trump is surrounding himself with symbols of might. He’s afraid of being booed.

The Fourth of July celebration exposes Trump to the sort of crowd from which he has been traditionally insulated. The event is held in Washington, which (along with its surrounding suburbs) is heavily Democratic. It is also drawing protesters who will fly the famous Baby Trump blimp. Trump is also alienating nonpolitical attendees who might resent him turning a hallowed ritual that is a traditional venue for unity and a respite from politics into another divisive spectacle.

Trump’s efforts to control the rally should be seen in the context of his fear that the crowd will boo him. He is advertising the event on his Twitter feed, cordoning off the immediate area around his speech for ticket holders, and giving tickets away to Republican donors. Trump has “requested that the chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines stand next to him.”

Get it? The service chiefs have to stand next to Trump as human patriotism bodyguards.

But does anyone on the planet look more ridiculous trying to be a Big Man? Not that I can think of.

12 thoughts on “Trump’s Vanity Campaign Parade

  1. I hope it rains like hell. The kinda rain that Noah would know that his efforts to build the ark weren't in vain.

     And if it doesn't rain, my second hope would be for a scorching heat so intense that global warming deniers might seriously reconsider their position.

     Trump just grates on me with his use of the military as a prop to craft an image of him as some great leader. He's a bag of shit who shirked his responsibility to our country when he ran away from military service to our country. He's a coward, a liar, a con man, and an overall vile bag of shit.

    Yesterday I read an article explaining what the difference is between patriotism and nationalism. Unfortunately, I don't have a link to the article, but it made it clear on how to differentiate between the two. And it also made it clear which of the two Trump and his minions are hawking. Seems my initial revulsion to the idea of militarising and politicising the 4th of July stems from my patriotism. There's also a part of me that resents the fact that the cowardly bag of shit ran and hide from his duty to his country and now he's trying to steal an honor reserved for those of us who answered their country's call.

    Fuck you,Trump! You'll never be able to erase the shame of your cowardly actions. You daft dodging bag of shit!

    • Well said Swami, I should have read your post first I wouldn't have even bothered to express my outrage at this fucking parade. Your on the money. Also I screwed up the link so here it is again!

    • Or how about a nice warm day with a few clouds in the sky, but a pathetically and embarrassingly  small crowd, say one fifth of his inauguration crowd ("alternative facts" for Conway to try to spin). Then, when he gets up to speak at the Lincoln Memorial, a torrential downpour. And one of the tanks breaking down and getting stuck and having to be towed by a tank retriever. Then after he is gone, sunshine and clear skies again. Plus record crowds for the night time fireworks after Trump has left. 

      • I don't want there to be so much rain that everyone has an excuse. Just enough so that everyone shows up but Trump. Because you know that's not impossible.


        And as Steve M. pointed out, next year's July Fourth is going to make this one look like a picnic. Because it'll be three months before an election where he'll be getting destroyed in the polls. He'll be desperate. I wouldn't be surprised if he announces a bombing campaign from the stage. (Not impossible that he'll do it tonight too.)

  2. " Trump is a weak and cowardly man who craves to be seen as stong and heroic "

    Yes he is, and he fits right in wth the wing-nut militarism that has darkened this country since the 70's. It's all fucking flag waving and look at my big gun. It's was a slow creep for 50+ years that most folks don't even notice but the last ten years have been on steroids. I hate it, it is everything that is wrong with this country. We are the world margeter of war. I've heard alot of people say: "leave to Trump to fuck up the 4th of July", that may be true but he's only doing what he knows sells.Fuck the fouth I celebrate the 7th,  April 7, 1775, Samuel Johnson: Patriotism is the last bastian of the scoundrel!

  3. Meanwhile, a White House official tells The Post that the plans include a plane from Air Force One’s fleet soaring overhead at precisely the moment that Trump takes the stage.

    Yeah, I can see him now doing his Mussolini head bob and smirk of self satisfaction as he paces across the stage clapping his hands as an acknowledgement of some perceived accomplishment on his part. What a bag of shit he is!


  4. What time are the tanks going to open fire on the crowd? Or is that "crowd" ?

  5. There is no business like show business.  Bring on the dancing tanks.  Blow off a couple of million bucks.  Play some old worn out marches and get er done.  And fly overs, who does not like fly overs.  The people that don't are just not patriotic Americans.  They probably even oppose comb overs.  Sick bastards.

    Make it extravagant and make it opulent.  That's what people want.  They want to look toward Washington and see raw military power on display and a lot of medals.  Oh chests full of medals.  Shiny brass and shiny shoes.  No shiny heads though, mind that comb over.  There could be wind or rain.  

    Celebrate the day we broke the ties with a rich asshole exploiting snobby oppressive king by putting a replacement on a podium with flyovers and pavement eating tanks.  Hell, we could have just skipped the revolution and stuck with the uppity asshole England provided for us.  For it's one, two, three what were we fighting for?…don't know don't give a damn.  Lucky to make it through Viet Nam.  Next stop could be Iran…

    Onward to create and celebrate the perfect dystopia.  When we get up the river far enough we get to see Marlon Brando and listen to him laud the Chaos, the beautiful, beautiful Chaos. 

    Me, I think I will celebrate with music of a non-martial nature and a vision of peace and order.  It is an easily affordable and offers a much more appealing venue.  The big show can just go on without me.  Have a wonderful 4th, all.

    • I'm surprised Trump is going to feature a chorus line with the 82nd airborne. You'd think he would know that sex sells. He should take a clue from Kim.

  6. As much as I HATE Authoritarians and "Authoritarianism" ( AKA:  Fascists and Fascism), I console myself that compared to Italy's and the world's first real Fascist – Benito Mussolini (an earlier dangerous and evil assclown) – our own assclown, Dumb-n-old tRUMPolini, is both anti-intellectual, and historically ignorant (neither of which anybody could accuse Benito of).

    That makes him less dangerous, in comparison

    I'm hoping for a massive rainstorm to pour down on his "tRUMPth of July" celebration of him, him, HIM!

    Happy 4th of July to everyone.

    We have a "mad" president to overthrow in the weeks and months ahead!!!

    'May the farce we with him. "

  7. The military is missing an opportunity to suck up and still save money here.  Just play some jet sounds through a speaker near Trump and tell him it's a flyover of one hundred F-35s.  They're invisible, you know.

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