Trump to Turn Part of Lincoln Memorial Into Private VIP Area for His Friends and Families on July Fourth

Trump to Turn Part of Lincoln Memorial Into Private VIP Area for His Friends and Families on July Fourth

Donald Trump has turned Washington, D.C.’s annual Fourth of July celebration into a celebration of Donald Trump.

Stories of Trump’s inserting himself into the planning of the yearly party have been circulating for months. The latest comes from The Washington Post, which is reporting that the area in front of the Lincoln Memorial will now be a VIP-only section for dignitaries, friends and families of the president. Tickets will be distributed by the White House:

The VIP section will stretch roughly from the steps of the memorial to the midpoint of the reflecting pool, according to the U.S. Secret Service. It is in front of the spot from which Trump plans to address the nation as part of his rebranding of the traditional July 4 event into his own “Salute to America.”

Traditionally, presidents have eschewed the spotlight on the Fourth of July. They celebrate at the White House, understanding that their security apparatus would badly disrupt the public celebration on the Mall, and they do not give national addresses. All of this is because the holiday is intended to honor the nation as a whole, not the temporary leader of it.

Trump has turned this logic on his head. Since he entered office, he has pushed for a grander July Fourth celebration in the nation’s capital. This latest change–sealing off what has long been a public space for revelers and turning it into a private party for his own sycophants–is just one more way in which he has put himself at the center of national life in a way that perverts nonpartisan spirit.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.