Many Americans celebrate United States Independence Day with public fireworks, neighborhood barbecues, and local parades. Politics are usually set aside. Traditionally, US presidents don’t seek much public attention, and generally, they are seen but not heard.
This year will be different, however, as US President Donald Trump hosts what he is calling “Salute to America”, complete with a military parade in Washington, DC, and a national speech.
With Paris’s Bastille Day parade, as a rule, Trump has called in US Army tanks for display and ordered an extensive fly-over of military aircraft on Thursday. Trump will also give a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Experts view the event, months in the planning, as an improper trial by Trump, whose presidency has been highly divisive, to claim the national spotlight at a time when unity should be the theme.
“This is another effort at what divides him from every other president we’ve ever had, no matter how good or bad they were,” stated Aaron David Miller, an analyst at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC.
“There is no collective, national import to his actions,” Miller told Al Jazeera. “It is what moves him at the moment. It’s his own personal narcissism and awareness without any regard for the institutions, the values, and patterns that have provided the republic for a long time.”