The Farce of July

July 4th, 2019 - by Gar Smith / Commentary

The Farce of July

Gar Smith / Commentary

As we look forward to another Independence Day, I can’t help but reflect that America, the “Land of the Free,” imprisons more citizens than any other nation on Earth. That, in the US, 20% of our children are going hungry. That, along our southern border, the US continues to kidnap migrant children and send them to sleep on the floor of crowded concentration camps. 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump steps across the North Korean border and proclaims “it is a very great honor” to be in a country that he earlier called a “depleted and food starved regime.”

Welcome to the Farce of July.

Trump’s July 4th DC Mila-thon

Now that Trump’s back in his version of the USSA, he appears prepped to go Full Mussolini on the Fourth—ordering the countries military brass to obediently line up behind him on the viewing stand.

Let’s call it “Il Duce meets Il Douche.”

So it was totally unexpected to hear the news that Trump called off a planned “cocked and loaded” attack on Iran after being informed that “150 people would die.”

Could it be that Trump is less a threat than “Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran” McCain?

Boots on the Ground vs. Hoots from the Grounds

Speaking of McCain, the anti-war veterans group Vote for Vets is planned a public protest to get Trump’s goat during the Commander-in-chief’s big military hoohaw in DC on the Fourth.

Recalling Trump’s undying dislike of John McCain, the now-dead former senator and war hero, Vote for Vets recently shared the following note:

Trump announced that there are going to be tanks and fighter jets on the National Mall for the 4th of July Celebration.

We stopped his military parade. This is his workaround.

So when he looks out the assembled masses, our job is to make sure he sees a sea of USS John S. McCain shirts looking back at him.

Yesterday we found out Meghan McCain likes the idea. . . . 

Let’s fill the Mall with these shirts. Rags of Honor is a company that employs veterans, often homeless veterans. We’re going to cut them a check for the shirts this week.

And Speaking of Tanks

Is anyone up for risking arrest in a massive Tiananmen Square-style action — standing in front of and/or sitting down (Free Speech Movement-style) surrounding those tanks, maybe climbing on top and waving peace flags? 

How about holding up placards revealing how much each tank costs, how much fuel each tank burns, how much pollution these tanks (and jets) contribute to cooking the planet?

Most likely, Trump will have police/soldiers forming a cordon around those relics of war to protect them from protesters. And that would also send a message.

And Speaking of Sending a Message . . .

Our esteemed leader, Kim Jong-Don, continues to drop hints that he wants to become President-for-life. In April, he told a crowd that he was thinking of remaining in the White House “for 10 or 14 years.” In mid-June, he speculated that he might spend more than a decade Tweeting and munching fast-food in the Oval Office should his base “demand that I stay longer.”

Trump has apparently come to envy his North Korean counterpart, a leader-for-life who only needs to snap his fingers to trigger a large military parade (complete with tanks and missile-carrying trucks).

And there’s something about Chinese “Forever Leader” Xi Jinping that also stirs Trump’s blood. As Trump gushed to CNN in 2018: “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”

Celebrating Interdependence Day

And, here’s a timely note from Tikkun editor, Rabbi Michael Lerner:

On July 4 hundreds of millions of Americans will celebrate all that is good in the history of the United States of America.  Even though progressives know there is much to criticize about America (including the use of the word “America” as synonymous with the United States, thereby ignoring Canada, Mexico, Central and South America) there is also much to celebrate. We liberals and progressives spend so much time critiquing the U.S. that it makes sense to have a day to celebrate what is good. But to do that we switch the focus from “independence” to our interdependence.

That’s why we want to urge you to turn this holiday into something more meaningful than just a picnic watching bombs bursting in air during the evening fireworks.We have a guide (free) for how to do this. If you click here, you’ll go to Please use it and let us know what worked, what didn’t work, and your suggestions for strengthening it after you’ve used it