Tanks on the streets

The Washington Post editorial board is not a fan of Trump’s plans for July 4.

It was bad enough that Mr. Trump sought to make the holiday about himself with plans to deliver a nationally televised address from the Lincoln Memorial, thus eliminating what many consider the hands-down best spot in Washington for fellowship and fireworks on the Fourth of July. But Mr. Trump now plans to cordon off an area in front of the memorial reserved just for dignitaries, family and friends. Nothing about reserved seating says “We the people.”

Equally, if not more troubling, is his insistence on a display of military might that will include a flyover of warplanes and the stationing of tanks or other armored military vehicles on the streets of the capital.

On the streets. What do we normally think when we see tanks stationed on city streets? Either that there’s a coup in progress or that there’s a crackdown on dissent in progress.

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What this will cost the Defense Department and the National Parks Service is anyone’s guess. (Officials have refused comment.) But the question of expense pales in comparison with the message that will be sent by a gaudy display of military hardware that is more in keeping with a banana republic than the world’s oldest democracy.

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What’s that one? Santiago, Chile, September 11 1973.

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