Suggestions for “Donald Trump Presents ‘A Salute to America starring Donald Trump’”

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Upending decades of tradition, President Donald Trump will be staging an official Independence Day celebration in Washington on Thursday — not to be confused with the annual music and fireworks show televised by PBS — at which he plans to speak.

For easily imaginable reasons, Americans who are not huge fans of the President worry that he’s going to turn a historically nonpartisan evening in D.C. into something resembling one of his many campaign rallies.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

“Lock her up!” chants and other time-tested base pleasers won’t be easy to replace, but nonetheless, here are 10 alternatives with which the President, when he appears on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial between the promised flyovers and fireworks, could demonstrate his magnanimity, his respect for the Constitution and all Americans, and even a sense of humor.

In no particular order:

  • Sing or recite “The Star-Spangled Banner” without benefit of a teleprompter.
  • Treat the gathered multitude, even if it’s the largest crowd since his record-setting inauguration, to a free buffet of hot dogs, hamberders and covfefe
  • With an assist from a star of the culinary world, perhaps Paula Deen, demonstrate how to prepare the all-American dessert classic, apple pie.
  • Join good friend Kid Rock, the genre-jumping rap/metal/country star, for a medley of Rock’s anthemic hits, including “I Am the Bullgod,” “American Bad Ass,” and “Only God Knows Why.”
  • Forego the MAGA cap, the dark suit and long red necktie and come out costumed as Uncle Sam, complete with top hat and fake goatee. On stilts.
  • Kiss Abe Lincoln’s marble feet.
  • Parade around the memorial steps with lit sparklers in each hand.
  • If bone-spur issues permit, recreate the flag-waving finale of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” complete with an approximation of James Cagney’s strutting performance of the title song.
  • Read the Bill of Rights aloud and with expression.
  • Apologize.

PBS’s will air nationally as usual on Thursday, 8–9:30 p.m. EST, with entertainment by Carole King, Vanessa Williams and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Written by

Mississippi native, award-winning veteran of The Orlando Sentinel, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Newsday, stand-up storyteller, lives in Athens, Ga.

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