- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2019


Imagine a standoff between Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s congressional delegate; Mayor Muriel Bowser; and President Trump over Independence Day celebrations in the nation’s capital.

July Fourth, the nation’s birthday, falls on a Thursday this year, and that naturally means Americans will be celebrating all week and weekend long.

Families, houses of worship, hotels, bars and related businesses, and the tourism industry look forward to celebrating America’s independence — especially in the nation’s capital, where museums and monuments and parades and veterans are the center of attention.

One of the nation’s largest fireworks displays caps the evening.

Small-town and rural America, while off the national grid, celebrate in similar fashion but on a smaller scale.

President Trump tweeted on Sunday that he wants to change the look and the feel of the capital’s July Fourth.

“HOLD THE DATE!” he emphasized with all caps. “We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called ‘A Salute To America’ and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”

Nice handle: “A Salute To America.” It’s who we are, and it deserves our collective salute.

And perhaps we need to honor ourselves more than we have.

At every turn, people are calling us divisive, even hateful.

We’ve always been divisive. Is the Revolutionary War no longer taught in America?

Were our forebears always in agreement?

Women ever treated equally?

Alaska and Hawaii won statehood because they were federal tax strongholds. Screech! No. They were national security and political strongholds.

Slavery in America ended after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Wrong again. Slavery is resurrected every time law enforcers bust a sex ring, prostitution ring or a human trafficking ring.

That’s why the charges against music man R. Kelly, who seemingly preferred teenage girls, and Robert Kraft, an incredibly wealthy man caught on tape procuring a prostitute in a massage joint in Jupiter, Florida, are so telling.

Prostitution, conducted by so-called ladies of the night, has come to light, and it’s a good-bad thing that we’re finally nabbing those who demand the supply and not merely arresting those who are forced and coerced into meeting the high demand.

Here comes Mr. Trump, who apparently loves a parade and wants one on display in the nation’s capital on July Fourth. With his proposal comes backlash. Indeed, if we’ve ever had a president who draws immediate backlash, it’s Donald Trump.

Why? Mostly because he’s a) not playing footsie with the Democratic Party and b) slinging arrows of outrageous fortune.

Mrs. Norton and Miss Bowser clapped back, sort of, at Mr. Trump.

“I’m not sure if the president is trying to make up for his inauguration fiasco on the Mall, but he seems to be unaware of the traditions of our nation on the Fourth of July,” she said Monday on WAMU Radio.

Miss Bowser, for her part, said through her spokeswoman that the mayor is “still assessing what will be different this year, but we know these celebrations only truly salute America when they are inclusive, diverse and welcome all.”

What they both should concede, and sooner rather that later, is that the president does not need the mayor’s permission. Period.

As well, they should acknowledge the fact that the July Fourth events held in the District are always inclusive and open to the public — not solely Trump supporters.

Mr. Trump, like Democrats and progressives, often pushes an agenda to see how far he can go without falling over the edge, as America’s Revolutionary War soldiers and Civil War soldiers did.

For real, America fought those wars so our citizenry would include red-blooded Americans like the Donald Trumps, Muriel Bowsers and Eleanor Nortons of this country.

Freedom of speech, political or otherwise, is not a blip in the U.S. Constitution — and trumpeting July Fourth is in the eye of the beholder.

⦁ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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