This piece originally appeared on the Liberal Dan website. It has been reposted here with permission.
Remember when the Fourth of July was a day of family and patriotism? People from all backgrounds would get together and cook out on the grill, spend time with family, and perhaps watch a fireworks show on TV or somewhere close to where they lived. It was a day where we would celebrate the idea of what America is supposed to be, even though attempts to stick to those ideals have many times missed the mark.
This July 4th is, to be frank, a joke. Donald J. Trump is taking a day that is supposed to be a celebration of our country and is instead putting on a vanity show to stroke his own ego. His so-called “Salute To America” is nothing more than a Soviet Bloc party. He has requested tanks in the streets of Washington D.C. as well as flyovers by several different aircraft. The National Park Service is spending $2.5 million on this event when it already has a backlog of projects that need to be completed. That amount of money is likely far less than the total costs that will be incurred today.
Who is attending this event? There is free access for the public. However, there is also a VIP section in front that will require tickets for entry. Both political appointees of this administration and major Republican donors will be receiving tickets to this event. The Democratic National Committee has confirmed that they have not received tickets to hand out while the Republican National Committee has. Ego stroking aside, this event will serve as a political tool to reward people supporting Trump’s reelection. I hope nobody is still holding their breath for a swamp draining to take place in D.C.
The most hypocritical portion of this is that our founding document states that people have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. While this administration spreads money across the capitol like a bachelor at a strip club, people who have come here simply to live free and pursue happiness are locked up in cages and are being denied basic necessities of life. Desperate families, like Oscar Martinez and Angie Valeria, have died simply trying to get into our country. At least seven children have died in U.S. custody after being detained. These facilities are overcrowded and lack the basic items needed to survive.
What we have today is one giant propaganda tool meant to mask the violations of civil liberties being perpetuated by this administration. A large portion of Americans will applaud Dear Leader as he cozies up with our enemies and seeks to emulate them. Make no mistake. This is not making America great. The salute I share today is for Donald Trump and it consists of only one finger.