Donald Trump

It's Donald Trump's America, We Just Live in It. Or Is It?

The president's seeming ability to always get what he wants masks the reality that anything is possible in today's political and cultural landscape.

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Tomorrow's "Salute To America" seemingly lays bare a fact that many of us have been struggling to avoid since January 2017: It's Donald Trump's world, we just live in it. In many things, it seems as if the president always eventually gets his way—or some reasonable facsimile of it. How you feel about that will depend on whether you're a MAGA-loving deplorable, a member of The Resistance, or a conscientious objector from The War To Politicize Everything (the fight over Nike's Betsy Ross sneakers is the most recent clash in this pathetic conflict), but there's an equally important corollary we should all also never forget: In Donald Trump's America, all things are possible, including successfully opposing Donald Trump.

Tomorrow's display of military might on the National Mall is an example of the president's ability to eventually get what he wants. The event will feature tanks, flyovers by Air Force One and the Blue Angels, military bands up the wazoo, top brass attendees from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, and a speech by the president. Trump reportedly got the hots to have a military parade after witnessing a Bastille Day celebration in France in 2017. His plans for a Veteran's Day parade in 2018 were shot down after the Department of Defense estimated the price tag at $92 million, or about $80 million more than originally planned. Tomorrow's event will certainly cost less than that, but will likely cost at least $10 million, and that's not including costs related to a shutdown of Reagan National Airport due to all those flyovers (administration officials are refusing to say how much they expect the event to cost).

The urge to condemn the event as profoundly un-American, as Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson has done, is understandable but ultimately misplaced.

It's indisputable, I think, that such displays cut against the American grain. Our Fourth of July celebrations are more likely to include fire trucks than tanks, and that speaks to a commendable, peace-loving part of our national character.

But in the end, the Salute To America is small beer and getting bent out of shape over Trump's vanity production on the Mall obscures the ways in which he routinely loses political and cultural battles. Just yesterday, for instance, the Department of Justice announced that it was dropping its attempt to include a contentious question about citizenship in the 2020 Census. That reversal came after the Supreme Court ruled against the administration last week.

The president also just signed a bill that spends $4.6 billion to address humanitarian and other concerns on the border between the United States and Mexico. While the law frustrated progressives who felt it didn't adequately address policies related to the detention of children, it more significantly didn't include any funding for Trump's signature border wall.

That he signed it is an indication that the president, like his predecessors, knows the limits of his ability to do whatever he wants (despite his bravado, last fall's midterm elections drove home that point with even more clarity). The larger question of immigration shows Trump is losing cultural battles as well. Even as the president and his allies are working to reduce legal immigration, record levels of Americans are pro-immigrant and immigration, with "two-thirds of Republicans, 75 percent of all adults, and 85 percent of Democrats now agree[ing] with the statement that 'immigration is a good thing' for the country today."

Indeed, for all the continuing fears about the president's "norm-shattering brazenness," it's worth noting that the current moment is one in which all sorts of things are up for grabs. That Donald Trump is president is a sign of this, and so are discussions about the meaning and benefits of socialism that would have been unthinkable even a decade or so ago. There are many reasons to worry that we are sliding toward an authoritarian moment, but it's equally true that whole new alliances—such as the one between George Soros and the Koch brothers helping to fund a non-interventionist think tank—are busting out all over the place.

It turns out that the very forces that made Donald Trump possible make all sorts of other things possible, too. That's something worth celebrating this Fourth of July.

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  1. I mean you realize the whole thing is a political ploy to wrap trump in the american flag and any criticism to be written off as haters of apple pie, freedom and the american way. He consistently does this to bludgeon his opponents and his base loves it. Can’t remember the last president who was this effective at it, but more than likely it’s due to the quality of his opposition being objectively more retarded than he is. Also the man just met with Kim Jong Un and stood down against Iran as they bushwhacked a drone he’s not exactly a war monger.

    1. Instead of using the military to murder Iranians he is using the money to throw a big party. I’d prefer neither, but being someone who loves this country, this is way better than Obama flying around the globe, apologizing and bashing America, then drone striking brown people.

    2. I wish he would warmonger in Venezuela, for their benefit not ours.

    3. Sorry, But Trump just like Shrub #2 & Obummy has continued the IMMORAL & ILLEGAL Wars, & Coups & Interventions, etc.. They are all War Criminals….Just ask the suffering people of Yemen!

  2. It’s a crazy world.

    1. Indeed. I just read this little gem over at Variety…..

      “A Goop rep said the true value of the weekend was over $8,000 because of free extras including golden facials”

      https://pagesix.com/2019/07/02/fury-at-gwyneth-over-wellness-summit-a-f%E2%80%8A-%E2%80%8A-%E2%80%8Aking-extortionist/

      Oh, so much can be done with that one statement……..so much……

  3. “”with “two-thirds of Republicans, 75 percent of all adults, and 85 percent of Democrats now agree[ing] with the statement that ‘immigration is a good thing’ for the country today.”””

    Immigration is a good thing and support for legal immigration are not mutually exclusive. I would be part of the 75%, but I also expect people to go through the proper legal process to immigrate.

    1. “but I also expect people to go through the proper legal process to immigrate.”

      So do, from what I’ve seen, (proper) immigrants.

      1. Nobody really likes a queue, but everyone loathes some fuck who cuts in line.

        1. Not just cuts in line, but didn’t buy a ticket either.

    2. Immigration is a good thing and support for legal immigration are not mutually exclusive. I would be part of the 75%, but I also expect people to go through the proper legal process to immigrate.

      Americans think immigration is a good thing. I wonder if the people being driven from their homes in their various nations of origin think similarly?

      Probably safe to assume that the father/daughter photographed lying face down in the Rio Grande really just liked immigrating a little too much.

      1. “”Probably safe to assume that the father/daughter photographed lying face down in the Rio Grande really just liked immigrating a little too much.””

        Why would you say that?

        1. Why would you say that?

          You’re right. My bad. Immigration is good and you can never get too much of a good thing. Those immigrants drowned because Trump has refused to put a bridge over the entirety of the Rio Grande.

          1. Or we could put a protective wall on the entire south side of the Rio Grande to assure that no more poor immigrants risk drowning. Then we could remove all barriers at the Mexico/California border, so the folks who want immigrants most will have easier access to them.

        2. When you sneak in by illegally crossing a river, you aren’t immigrating.

          1. Not lawfully anyway. If they went the lawful route, they would probably still be alive.

  4. Reason should never stop publicizing the fact that more Americans than ever agree that “immigration is a good thing.” It proves beyond all doubt that the Koch / Reason open borders agenda has gone mainstream.

    #ImmigrationAboveAll
    #AbolishICE
    #AbolishConcentrationCamps

  5. Remember when Reason was worried about Trump being a fascist dictator? Now they’re complaining about a parade.

    Literally Hitler

  6. “It’s indisputable, I think, that such displays cut against the American grain. ”

    What a pussy you are nick. Go visit a town near a military base. Military had parades and vehicles most of the patriotic holidays. Kids and adults waived america flags. They are proud of their country and honor those who protect it

    Get out of your American hating shit hole. Not everyone cowers at the sight of a scary soldier.

    1. I had to be part of those local parades in Bremerton WA. back in the early 80s. Hated it. But the local people liked them.

      1. Most of the military and ex military I know loved doing those things. I remember reading a few articles, as an example, of.the honor guard who does the ceremony for the unknown soldier and them saying how it was a huge competition to get that job. How they thought it was an honor.

        1. The unknown soldier is prestigious. NSB Bangor not so much.
          I keep calling it Bremerton but it’s really the Silverdale/Poulsbo area.

      2. “Hated it. But the local people liked them.”

        Nick lives in a bubble of thought that never want to give “those” type of people any kind of pubic attention. The proles should stay home and not be seen or heard.

    2. Go suck government cock somewhere else, fag.

  7. It’s really Remy’s world and we all live in it.

    1. Clown world?

      1. Puddles world.

  8. When she’s not fighting to liberate American concentration camps, AOC is reminding us we only have 12 years left before the planet becomes literally uninhabitable.

    We just experienced *the hottest month ever recorded on Planet Earth.* Unless we act drastically now, it’s only going to get worse. What will that mean for our food, water, shelter, safety? We need a #GreenNewDeal. Now.

    #ILoveScience
    #LibertariansForAOC

      1. Because you can’t spell ‘All Out Crazy’ without AOC!

    1. I love it when someone confuses weather with climate.
      Also, the ski slopes are open for the 4th of July in Utah.

      1. Snow is proof of global warming climate denier.

        1. Indeed. And nothing says “science” like a hypothesis that cannot be falsified. 🙂

    2. The hottest month ever recorded where? Michigan has been cooler than usual since last fall.

  9. How is Independence day normally celebrated in D, C.? Parade floats full of lobbyists throwing cash at congressman and yelling “Show us your tits”?

    1. They only yell that at Chuck Schumer.

      1. Now that Barney Frank is out of office.

        1. What IS congressman Fag doing now that he’s retired?

    2. That’s the other 364 days of the year.

  10. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to get worked up over an overly extravagant and expensive vanity project for Trump’s amusement, especially so since the draft dodging bonespurs asshole cowardly refused to serve.

    It’s a disgrace to all of us that have served. But no matter, people will find ways to excuse every single one of his actions.

    1. That’s why sane people think you’re unreasonable.

    2. “”It’s a disgrace to all of us that have served. “”

      Myself, people I served with that I am still in contact, friends that have served, not a one finds it disgraceful. I’m not a fan of it, but disgraceful is not a word I would use.

      1. I’m glad someone else said it. ‘Disgraceful’, in this context, sounds more like a word someone who was being indignant on behalf of veterans would use.

      2. Wearing The is Buttplug. And he never served.

    3. draft dodging bonespurs asshole cowardly refused to serve

      Good for him. Draft dodging is a virtuous exercise.

    4. You didn’t serve and you’re too much of a fucking coward to post this under your main ID you sad fucking sockpuppet

    5. Fuck off Kiddie Raper, we know this is you, and you never served. YOU are an embarrassment to those of us who did.

  11. Every time someone cites the “most Americans want immigration” study, another Communist is added to the helicopter tour list.

    1. +1, Pinochet

    2. As everyone knows, the basis of libertarianism is murdering everyone who disagrees with you.

      1. Actually it is… That’s how America, the most libertarian nation ever founded, was created. That’s what cucks don’t get… You have to lay the smack down, and all the nasty bits that entails, in order to be able to be ultra laid back later.

    3. The real thing is they never mention WHAT KIND of immigration. An overwhelming majority, including Hispanics BTW, want ONLY educated, legal, vetted, immigrants moving here. Also, IIRC almost half the country wants FEWER of them overall too. Not NONE mind you, but fewer than now.

      They don’t want illiterate peasants sneaking over the border in endless numbers in other words…

      I want Japanese rocket scientists moving here too! Just not PTSD laden Somalis who can’t even read or write in their own native language and don’t speak a word of English…

  12. I half expect Trump to show up for the parade dressed like a banana republic generalissimo. That or dressed in an American Flag unitard a la Dwayne Elizando Mountain Dew Camacho. (Bonus points if he hip fires a machine gun).

    1. It would be more fun if he just dressed like a banana.

      1. Do not peel that banana.

    2. I half expect Trump to show up for the parade dressed like a banana republic generalissimo.

      Then how would Ted Rall portray him?

    3. Eric, I expect you to show up dressed in your leather gimpsuit. Although in your case that wouldn’t be notable.

      Stupid progtard bitch.

      1. I love you, Beautiful.

    4. I believe he plans on wearing this.

      1. Ha! What is the context of this?

  13. Its not unusual to have fly overs at 4th of July parades, the local military along with police and fire parade and when we had an armory the non-tracked vehicles also were in the parade. Not a big deal. Note Trump is only having two tanks parked, its not Tinaman square as some have pondered.

    1. Nothing can be too exaggerated to satisfy TDS.

      1. It’s actually a little weird how, as extravagant and over-the-top he is, sufferers still hyperbolize beyond that.

    2. Oh flyovers are no big deal. They do airshows all over. We have one here every year. I always go downtown to watch them do runs over the lake.

      Don’t know which aircraft it is but it is awesome when they go vertical. Then the plane drifts and they fire up. The windows in the office buildings rattle.

      Lived in Dayton Ohio for a few years. If anyone is in the area the museum at Wright Patterson is well worth the trip.

      Don’t really have a problem with a couple tanks on display. People want to see those. I would. Just thought it funny when Trump called them Shermans I think he meant the Bradleys. And neither of them are new exactly although there are always newer upgrades.

      1. Echo, you have to understand, progtards hate America, they hate the military, and they hate any display of patriotism, or masculinity.

        They love things like over the top pride parades with everyone competing to be the biggest freak, or celebrations of Marxism. I’m sure if there were a nostalgia parade celebrating Stalin’s purges and the Bolshevist murders of the Russian nobility, all the progtards would sponge with glee.

        1. No I do not understand Shitlord.

          Progtard, libtard, trumptard, patriot.

          Hate. That is what you claim. You have no hate nor prejudice. Only progtards do.

          Military has not much to do with masculinity nor patriotism.

  14. It’s rich to see progtards getting their panties in a bunch over a parade that was inspired by a secular gay Frenchie. I thought progtards worshipped all things French.

    1. Macron is not gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  15. also note that some say the 4th has nothing to do with military accomplishments however the fireworks shows are based on a line in the song “Rockets red glare” etc… from the Star spangled banner and the U.S. defeating the Brit’s again.

    1. Progtards always hate anything decent, or even just fun. Everything has to be a celebration of perversion or infanticide, or some other sick shit. Being the loathsome things they are.

  16. the “immigration is a good thing” line is clownish wordplay who are you proving what to with it?

      1. lol. the one person i didn’t think of dang.

  17. He always get what he wants? Huh?

    I don’t see a wall. I don’t see illegals being carted back. I don’t see a lot of stuff he’s floated getting done because judges keep saying no.

    1. RTFA, that’s exactly what Gillespie is saying here.

  18. To be fair, I think Nick’s basic point is that we shouldn’t be excessively worked up over this. However, he still doesn’t understand that we shouldn’t be worked up over this at all.

  19. To speak of Trumps “seeming ability to get what he wants” means you claim substantial knowledge of what he actually wants.

    As opposed to ‘what he says he wants’ or even ‘what he thinks he can achieve.’

    Only one of those is not a total ass-pull.

  20. For those who say “nothing to worry about here”, I’ll just leave this here:

    https://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/09/10/Military-Coup-US-Surprising-Number-Americans-Might-Support-One

    It’s unhealthy for a civil society to worship the military.

    1. It’s unhealthy for a civil society to worship the military.

      The Cold War called, they want their boogeyman back. Mr. Snowden is on line 2 with a relatively fresh set of new boogeymen to which the public is largely, if not entirely, ambivalent to for you to worry about.

    2. Given that the last time we actually had a civil society was probably decades before you were born, I still don’t see anything to worry about. It’s not like a military dictatorship could actually suck much worse.

      1. Given that the last time we actually had a civil society was probably decades before you were born

        Back when everyone knew their place.

      2. Yet another one of our brave “libertarian” posters proclaiming how a military coup wouldn’t be all that bad.

        1. 1. I’m not a libertarian. Haven’t been since around the turn of the century.
          2. Anything that facilitates getting the Enlightened™ swinging from the lampposts is a Good Thing and deserves to be supported.

    3. Jeff prefers coups be left to the FBI

    4. I wonder if you know the difference between an all volunteer army and a politically controlled army like venezuela. My guess is no.

      1. So I guess I can put you down for “a military coup wouldn’t be all that bad” then.

    5. Anyone want to see the breakdown of these numbers under our current president? 15% Repub and 80% Demo?

    6. Not all military coups are worse than the alternative… If things keep going the way they are in the USA, we’d be lucky to get a military coup in another decade or two.

  21. I think this is another case when we all need to take a deep breath and ignore President Trump. The parade is not worth my effort to be offended. And I don’t think his speech will may the lists of top Presidential speeches. It will be in his political ads and then lost to history.

    I do hope that Republican attendee spend some of their time thinking about wasteful government spending.

    1. A lot of things Trump does isn’t worth an effort to be offended. Yet people get offended at things lesser than a silly parade.

      Tweets are lesser. Yet many people are cats to Trump holding the laser. The tweets are Trump’s laser.

      1. I agree. You have to wonder what would happen to his tweets if we all just started ignoring them. Not likely to happen, but nice to think about.

  22. The president’s seeming ability to always get what he wants

    Always?

    “In a blow to the Trump administration Thursday, the Supreme Court did not make a decision on whether a question about citizenship status can be included on the 2020 Census and ruled 5-4 to send it back to the lower courts for additional review. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the left of the Court.”

    More hier.

    1. Do you not understand the meaning of the word “seeming”?

      1. He doesn’t seem to always get what he wants. He seems to get the stiff-arm an awful lot of the time.

        1. Exactly. The title should be more like “Trump rarely gets what he wants”.

          1. If mick jagger can’t always get what he wants what chance do I have?

        2. What he wants is stupid meaningless shit like this parade. He wants people to call him “sir” and to talk about him on cable news and to say how great his fast food dinner parties are. He couldn’t give two shits about actual policy as long as the focus is on him.

          So yeah, he does seem to get what he wants an awful lot of the time.

          1. But not always, seemingly.

      2. “Do you not understand the meaning of the word “seeming”?

        My interpretation was pretty much “Nick seething over the fact that Trump succeeds at anything at all.”

    2. He went down to the demonstration to get his fair share of abuse
      Screaming “We’re gonna vent our frustration, if we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse”

  23. Remember when the press thought his comments about activists, once done with Confederate nonsense, will turn on the Founding Fathers next were silly?

    Man is a fucking visionary, it seems.

    1. No more TJ Birthday in Charlottesville. I expect his statues will be the next to go. If the first American “Betsy Ross” flag is now tagged as a “symbol of white supremacy” pretty much anything is grist for that nefarious mill.

      1. Glad my son has a school trip to DC this coming school year; I want him to see the monuments on the Mall before they’re blown up.

      2. Gov Cuomo got the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle added to the State Register of Historic Places.

        That will show them.

  24. Enough of the bullshit quasi-patriotic name. Call it what it is.

    Draft Dodger’s Penis Extender

  25. Honestly, I think Trump has gotten precious-little of what his voting base wants, and we’re better for that. He’s gotten away with serial lying, about everything big and small, but ultimately his Presidency has been mostly inconsequential.

    Gawd, let’s see what the Democrats have to offer as an antidote to this alternate reality.

    1. “”Honestly, I think Trump has gotten precious-little of what his voting base wants, and we’re better for that. He’s gotten away with serial lying, about everything big and small, but ultimately his Presidency has been mostly inconsequential.””

      That can be said about the last guy.

    2. Trump gave us Gorsuch. I try to remember that whenever he says, writes or does something.

  26. Two tanks, Air Force One, aviation groups designed explicitly for display, and a few hundred troops. BFD.

  27. Do so many of you really think that Trump rarely gets what he wants?

    Are the blinders on that tight?

    Trump’s base is enraptured with the man–he is an amazing president. He gets shit done.

    The reluctant Trump supporters are pleased with him.

    The Nevertrumpers are defending him.

    Because, along with rendering every imbecile with a shred of leftist sympathy a drooling moron, he actually does get shit done.

  28. The event will feature tanks, flyovers by Air Force One and the Blue Angels,

    The President will be up in the air, flying over the Mall? Because a plane is only “Air Force One” while the President is aboard…

    1. The job of Resident Tedious Pedant here has already been taken by Jeffy.

  29. […] Gillespie, Reason’s editor at large, writes that “the urge to condemn the event as profoundly un-American…is understandable but […]

  30. […] Gillespie, Reason’s editor at large, writes that “the urge to condemn the event as profoundly un-American…is understandable but […]

  31. […] Gillespie, Reason’s editor at large, writes that “the urge to condemn the event as profoundly un-American…is understandable but ultimately […]

  32. […] Gillespie, Reason’s editor at large, writes that “the urge to condemn the event as profoundly un-American…is understandable but […]

  33. This is a president who clearly shows not just in words but in actions that he actually does give a crap about the military. He has restructured the VA with great benefit to the veterans. He has not sent any troops into pointless wars thereby not sending them off to die. Now he has had a parade on 4th July so they can be proud of the profession they have chosen.
    Trust a progtard to make everything Trump does or doesn’t do into a negative. Progtards show every single day how much they hate America and it’s value. You can be sure of one thing after this display of hatred. America hates them back.

  34. […] Gillespie, Reason’s editor at large, writes that “the urge to condemn the event as profoundly un-American…is understandable but […]

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