The reality TV president wasn’t made for PBS and the Fourth of July will prove it yet again.
Where usually there’s a Smithsonian-sponsored festival celebrating foreign cultures and a concert broadcast on PBS for Independence Day, this year there will be fighter jets, tanks and a Trump rally — plus protests and politics.
And the biggest fireworks display anyone can remember.
The regular fireworks launch point had to be moved to accommodate President Donald Trump’s new “Salute to America” event at the Lincoln Memorial. That, coupled with military flyovers, means DC airspace will be closed for more than two hours, when in normal years it isn’t closed at all.
One concern of critics who think the Fourth should be about commemorating national unity and independence is that Trump’s event, with its massive VIP section and tickets for political donors, has the sheen of a partisan affair. There will be 15,000 general assembly tickets available for Trump’s July 4 celebration and a total of 500 VIP tickets, according to a person involved with the event.
But the final preparations are triggering a new wave of concerns about the scale and cost of the event. Along with the airport closures — officials can’t yet say what the impact will be on flight schedules — the DC National Guard plans to triple the number of troops on the street, from 300 to 900, to provide additional security.