Phillip Kennicott, a lefty critic for the Washington Post, begins his column about the Fourth of July parade this way:
The Mall is a place of public reconciliation.
Really? What about those enraged feminists who marched up and down the Mall wearing pussy hats? They didn’t seem conciliatory to me.
In fact, Kennicott is entirely off-base. The Mall is the frequent site of many political events that are the antithesis of reconciliation.
But today’s Fourth of July event isn’t one of them. Unless you dislike the American military, there’s nothing inherently divisive about a military display with tanks. Americans have long been reconciled to the need for an effective, well-equipped military. And for good reason. Our tanks were instrumental in reconciling Europe twice in the last century.
The Mall is fundamentally a civic rather than a military space.
That’s true. But today’s event doesn’t alter this. It’s not as if Trump has installed military barracks on the Mall or placed surface-to-air missiles there.
The Champs-Élysées isn’t a military space. Its fundamental character isn’t transformed because tanks roll down the boulevard as part of a parade for a few hours every year on Bastille Day. Neither does this year’s Fourth of July event alter the fundamental character of the Mall.
It is difficult to express how deeply repugnant [President Trump’s] effort to politicize this space is to commonly held American ideals.
It must be difficult, otherwise Kennicott wouldn’t have to resort to distortions like his opening sentence and to a barrage of anti-Trump cliches masquerading as an argument.
A military display doesn’t politicize the Mall unless you dislike the U.S. military. It’s the left that has politicized the event by using it as yet another means of bashing Trump.
Towards the end of his article, Kennicott sniffs:
The Fourth of July, in Washington, is beloved because for a moment, the city feels whole, and one can imagine that perhaps someday the country will feel whole, too. It is a fantasy, but a fantasy we abandon at our peril.
We are further away from wholeness because Democrats and leftists chose to engage in a campaign of unrelenting “resistance” against the democratically elected president of the United States. Columns like Kennicott should be viewed as part of this unrelenting political resistance, not as good faith commentary about the aesthetics of this year’s Fourth of July event on the Mall.