Trump is hijacking the National Mall to celebrate himself, rather than America, on Independence Day.
The narcissist in chief is officially getting what he wants: a taxpayer-funded patriotic display in his honor.
After years of demanding but failing to get a military parade in his honor in the nation's capital, Trump is instead hijacking the National Mall on July 4 to give a speech his White House has called a "Salute to America."
Trump's speech, which his administration claims will focus on honoring the military, is problematic for a number of reasons.
First, his presence on the National Mall — which has for years played host to a non-partisan concert and fireworks display honoring American independence — is expected to create immense security concerns, logistical nightmares, and increased cost to D.C.'s local government.
Adding insult to injury, Trump's White House still owes D.C. $7.3 million for Trump's inauguration, the Washington Post reported.
With thousands already expected to attend the annual event, Trump's presence will only complicate people's plans to spend an enjoyable evening at one of the country's most storied and beautiful national landmarks.
Even worse, given Trump's long history of going off script to relive the glory of his 2016 Electoral College win and to demand praise from a public that overwhelmingly disapproves of his job performance, it's likely that Trump will take this speech and make it about himself.
Of course, Trump's demand to take over the National Mall on Independence Day could be his way of getting the kind of crowds that he failed to cobble together at his inauguration more than two years ago.
Trump's demand for attention and praise rather than simply letting Americans celebrate their country's independence on their own terms is drawing widespread condemnation.
Three Democratic senators — Tom Udall of New Mexico, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland — wrote a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt expressing their concern over Trump's takeover of the Fourth of July festivities.
"We are deeply troubled that the President's involvement at the event will turn the longstanding, non-partisan celebration into a de facto campaign rally conducted at taxpayer expense that will serve to further divide rather than unify the nation," the lawmakers wrote.
Their concerns are valid. Whenever Trump gets in front of a crowd, his worst instincts take over as he rants and raves and boasts about himself.
But leave it to Trump to ruin one of the few remaining things in this country that hasn't been splintered by partisanship.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.