President Trump’s critics appear to have Fourth of July envy.
For weeks, the press and political rivals have been wringing their hands over the president’s independent Independence Day observance, meant to honor the U.S. military and the traditional spirit and drive of the American people.
What’s not to like?
“It will be the show of a lifetime,” Mr. Trump predicted in a tweet, some 30 hours before show time.
Oh, but the Trump style and intent has triggered many a journalist and politician. Icy editorials, snippy op-eds and grave investigations into the event’s funding have proliferated, along with complaints that the event included a VIP seating section and had politicized either the holiday or the military. Something like that. Many fretted that the resident Bradley Fighting Vehicles would damage the roads.
New York Magazine wondered if Mr. Trump’s “jingoistic lovefest” was un-American.
An odd thought, since Mr. Trump has titled the occasion “A Salute to America.”
In a story using unnamed sources, CNN proclaimed, “Military chiefs have concerns about politicization of Trump’s July 4th event.”
But the show must go on. Fox News and C-SPAN will be there to chronicle the big doings. MSNBC, meanwhile, has refused to cover Mr. Trump’s large-than-life celebration while CNN will air a documentary on white nationalism when Mr. Trump begins his speech in early evening. In reality, this is the networks’ loss: the entertainment value and uplifting spectacle of a Navy Blue Angel flyover, the National Symphony and gorgeous Vanessa Williams against the backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial is off the scale.
And perhaps most frustrating to the Trump critics: The president’s fans will have a grand time, op-eds or not. So happy Fourth of July, everyone.
REAGAN ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, 1986
“My fellow Americans, it falls to us to keep faith with all the great Americans of our past. Believe me, if there’s one impression I carry with me after the privilege of holding the office held by Adams and Jefferson and Lincoln, it is this: that the things that unite us — America’s past of which we’re so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country — these things far outweigh what little divides us,” President Reagan told the nation 33 years ago.
“And so tonight we reaffirm that Jew and Gentile, we are one nation under God; that black and white, we are one nation indivisible; that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart and hand, through whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world.”
THE BEER INSTITUTE HAS A SAY
The Fourth of July is traditionally the most popular holiday for beer sales in the United States. So says the Beer Institute, a national trade association for the American brewing industry. Yes, there’s a survey.
The organization has found that 75% of drinking-age Americans celebrating the nation’s 243rd Fourth of July will serve or enjoy a beer.
“Beer is the perfect alcohol beverage for toasting America’s independence responsibly,” says Jim McGreevy, president of the group. “Thomas Jefferson wrote one of the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence while enjoying a beer, so it makes sense beer remains an essential part of July Fourth celebrations more than 200 years later.”
The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted June 21-25.
ONE FOR BETSY
Not everyone in the apparel business agrees with Nike, which dropped a new shoe design featuring an American flag as designed by Betsy Ross — prompted by a complaint from Colin Kaepernick, a Nike endorser and an activist.
Nine Line Apparel, a veteran-owned apparel company based in Georgia, is striking back with a new line of T-shirts that display the Betsy Ross flag with much flair and patriotism.
“Nike seeks profit through controversy, but with absolutely no regard for the consequences,” said retired Army Capt. Tyler Merritt, CEO of Nine Line.
“In its corporatist wake, it leaves behind anti-American sentiment and division, harming our country,” Mr. Merritt said. “But since Nike has no interest in displaying the Betsy Ross flag, a classic symbol of freedom and unity, then we proudly will.”
The new line of shirts for men and women will be available July 12. In the meantime, Mr. Merritt is organizing a boycott of Nike and advises the public to display their patriotism by using the hashtag #NoToNike.
“How far Nike has fallen? It was once an iconic American company. Now it can’t even stomach associating itself with one of the greatest moments in our country’s history, when individuals of diverse backgrounds put differences aside to fight tyranny and secure liberty. Nike says ‘Just do it.’ We say just stand for your beliefs and for your country,” Mr. Merritt said.
COCKTAIL DU JOUR
Country Living Magazine recommends making a whole pitcher of this. Developed by the flood blog WellPlated.com, the Strawberry Blueberry Mojito is for those who might want to craft a cocktail for Independence Day. This recipe makes a single drink:
Ingredients: 3 tablespoons of blueberries (extra for garnish); 2 fresh strawberries diced (extra for garnish); 10-15 fresh mint leaves; 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice (about a half a lime); 1 teaspoon sugar; 1 ounces white rum, ice and club soda,
Muddle the blueberries, strawberries, mint, lime juice and sugar in the bottom of a tall serving glass (a Collins glass is traditional), until the sugar is dissolved and the berries break down. Add the rum and stir to combine. Fill the glass with ice, then top with club soda. Stir to combine, then garnish with additional mint leaves and berries as desired. Enjoy immediately.
POLL DU JOUR
• 79% of Americans say they have not visited a Revolutionary War site in the last five years; 82% of Republicans, 77% of independents and 79% of Democrats agree.
• 69% say they will attend a July Fourth barbecue; 71% of Republicans, 69% of independents and 73% of Democrats agree.
• 51% will go to a professional fireworks display; 47% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 54% of Democrats agree.
• 31% will set off their own fireworks; 33% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.
• 28% will go to a parade; 36% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 25% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Monmouth University poll of 751 U.S. adults conducted June 12-17 and released Tuesday.
• Enjoy your Fourth of July and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway.
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