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How Lincoln's disdain for demagogues pricks Trump's Fourth of July pomposity.

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Ed Wexler

If nothing else, the president’s speech on the Mall on Thursday will show how far we have fallen since Lincoln.

Sidney Blumenthal, the Guardian
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Sun 30 Jun 2019 | Donald Trump is orchestrating his Fourth of July extravaganza to be his most spectacular act of self-flattery, his first appearance on the National Mall since his inauguration but before a certifiably larger crowd and ending with a burst of fireworks.


Next year, Trump should simply reserve his Fourth of July festivity to the Trump hotel or the Russian embassy. Insuchsettings he can celebrate himself, as Lincoln said, “without the base alloy of hypocrisy”.


He has always given careful thought to his staging. His introduction to The Apprentice, driven to the thumping beat of For the Love of Money, showed the master of the universe striding from a limousine at Trump Tower, riding in a Trump helicopter and climbing the ramp of a Trump airplane. Now, however, he will display himself on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. With the illuminated statue of the 16th president as his backdrop, Trump will highlight the magnitude of his own greatness by standing in reflected glory.

Sidney Blumenthal is a former aide to Bill Clinton and the author of two books on Abraham Lincoln, A Self-MadeMan and Wrestling With His Angel.

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