Donald Trump is coming under fire for plans to change a longtime tradition in Washington, D.C., turning the city’s Fourth of July celebration into something of a campaign rally that honors himself.
As the Washington Post reported, Trump is moving ahead with plans for some major changes to the traditional July 4th celebration on the National Mall, which has always been an event free of politics that honors America. The report noted that Donald Trump and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt have “taken charge” of the event and it will include a speech delivered by Trump himself. Trump has been known for inserting campaign-style rhetoric into nearly every speech, leading critics to believe that his Fourth of July address would be twinged with attacks on critics and boasts about his administration.
Trump had foretold the changes in a tweet last February that drew much criticism, telling Americans to “HOLD THE DATE” and saying that the new Fourth of July celebration would include an “address by your favorite President, me!”
As The Huffington Post noted, the plans drew a sharp response from critics who saw it as an attempt to hijack the holiday and turn it into a campaign rally that honors himself. The report noted that many mocked Trump for acting as if he were inventing the idea of holding a celebration on the Fourth of July.
“HOLD THE DATE!” one Twitter user wrote. “We will be having one of the biggest candy giveaways in history on October 31st. It will be called ‘Halloween’ and will be held in every neighborhood. Major pumpkin displays.”
Presidents have traditionally stayed away from the planning of the Fourth of July celebration in the National Mall and have not participated themselves, seeing the event as a time for Americans of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate the nation’s history.
Trump wants to make himself the focus of Washington D.C.'s annual Fourth of July celebration.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 11, 2019
Trump has shown interest in the event that he often does not exhibit for other administration priorities, aides tell WaPo.https://t.co/lACOy97coE
Donald Trump has come under fire for what critics see as politicizing other traditionally nonpartisan events. As The Atlantic noted, even a visit to the Boy Scouts turned political for Trump, who couldn’t resist adding some digs to his perceived political opponents during an address to the Boy Scouts Jamboree. Trump recounted his Election Night victory and railed against “Fake News” and the so-called “War on Christmas” in his speech, launching an attack against Barack Obama. The speech drew widespread criticism and even prompted a national apology for the “political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree.”