Mr. Trump’s decision to basically turn Washington’s Fourth of July celebration into a rally for himself complete with large military tanks has been fraught with much criticism. The monstrosity of an event has likely cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Last year’s military parade cost $92 million.
It isn’t a surprise that there were many protests in Washington during Thursday’s events. There was a scuffle outside the White House after the U.S. flag was set on fire by protesters. Secret Service arrested at least one protester.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 4, 2019
According to CNN:
‘Leftist protesters burned an American flag outside the White House on Thursday and then clashed with supporters of President Donald Trump, including the far-right Proud Boys group, not long before Trump took the stage for his “Salute to America.”‘
Activist Joey Johnson led a group from the Revolutionary Communist Party USA just blocks from Trump’s July 4 speech. The group linked arms and set the American flag on fire as they chanted “America was never great.”
Johnson told people in a news release before the event that he was leading the protest because:
‘I’m going to be speaking to the people of the world letting them know that there are people inside the borders of this country who stand with the people of the world.’
Another group of Trump supporters began chanting Trump 2020 which set off a conflict between the groups that became violent.
‘Multiple protesters, including Johnson, were escorted from the scene in handcuffs by the Secret Service. A news release after the event from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, said Johnson was among those arrested.’
Among the right-wing protesters were The Proud Boys, a white nationalist group, who have been designated as a hate group by The Southern Poverty Law Center.
Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump’s July Fourth “Salute to America” was “designed more to stroke his ego” than celebrate the country.
Biden told CNN’s Chris Cuomo in an interview that will air on Friday:
‘I wonder, what will Donald Trump say this evening when he speaks to the nation at an event designed more to stroke his ego than celebrate American ideals?’
The president claimed that the military was “thrilled” to be part of his event.
According to The Los Angeles Daily News:
‘By adding his own, one-hour production to capital festivities that typically draw hundreds of thousands anyway, Trump set himself up to be the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day.’
In a morning tweet, Trump said:
‘I will speak on behalf of our great Country! Perhaps even Air Force One will do a low & loud sprint over the crowd.’
Many people have lamented the huge amount of money wasted just to stroke the so-called president’s ego. Just the Capitol Concerts portion of the program alone will cost $6.4 million which was lifted from the National Park Service budget, which is in itself a largely careless use of money.
Meanwhile, children are living in deplorable conditions in detention centers at the border, and in dire need of basic necessities like soap, toothbrushes, clean clothing, and medical care.
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube