In a move pulled explicitly from the fascist leader playbook, Trump has requested that the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines stand at his side during his ego-centric Fourth of July celebration.
The news comes courtesy of the New York Times, who report that Trump wants the chiefs to stand next to him as each branch showcases their aircraft flying overhead during the parade, dubbed “A Salute to America”; there will also be tanks stationed outside in select locations, since that’s a totally normal thing to do in 2019 America, just like it was in 1935 Germany.
“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks,” Trump said in response to concerns that the city’s infrastructure is ill-equipped to support the display. The City Council for the District of Columbia put it eloquently in a tweet: “Tanks, but no tanks.”
Trump has reportedly wanted to display the armed forces’ excesses since watching a Bastille Day parade in 2017; he initially pitched the idea for a Veterans Day event, which was struck down after the $90 million price tag was deemed too steep. It’s unclear how much the July 4 event is expected to cost.
Other events during “A Salute to America” include the traditional fireworks display and a speech that Trump will deliver from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The event has drawn criticism from many; Rep. Gerald E. Connelly asserts that Trump is “taking an American—a national—holiday and making it about himself. And that is fundamentally wrong.”
“A Salute to America” is the latest in a long line of increasingly fascist behaviors from the Trump administration. Between the cruelty endemic to the concentration camps at the border to his silencing of pollsters, this behavior can only be expected at this point.