Please Teach Trump What Bastille Day Celebrates

Please Teach Trump What Bastille Day Celebrates

Trump, having witnessed the Bastille Day or French National Day Parade, has decided that he needs that pomp of having a July 4 Parade next year showing off our military hardware. France’s parade celebrates the storming of the hated Bastille prison in the process of overthrowing the royalty and aristocracy of Louis XVI that ruled over the commoners of France, on 14 July, 1789.

The prison held political prisoners who were arbitrarily jailed for writings which displeased the government. Does anyone remember the Trump campaign and continued rally call to “Jail Hillary”, without due process? To change the libel laws to jail reporters? To have reporters fired who made a mistake? To fire an ESPN celebrity because of expressing her political opinion in a tweet, like Trump is addicted to? To ignore due process and declare any arrested suspect of any crime as already guilty (something all past presidents have avoided)? To labeling CNN, and the most respected newspapers as “fake news”? To retweeting cartoons that ran over a CNN reporter with a train? To retweet a gif of Trump knocking down Secretary Clinton with a golf shot? To removing all climate change information from government agencies? To having Kellyanne and Scott Pruitt trying to silence talk of Climate Change after the horrendous Houston flood of Hurricane Harvey, and after Hurricane Irma in Florida and the Virgin Islands?

Not working at a newspaper, I cannot complete a definitive list of Trump and his Administration’s suppression of reporting and information. However, there is the glaring childness of starting every news conference late, and then filling it with a dull agency report, and then having to rush to end it because there is a plane to catch or Trump is going to welcome some foreign dictator. Does the office of White House communications really think anybody is going to be taken in by this repeated ruse?

Bastille Day also celebrates the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which was drafted similar to the US Bill of Rights, and worked on by Thomas Jefferson and Lafayette. It guarantees freedom of speech and of the press, and due process of law. All of these Trump continually tramples on.  Article XV of the Declaration requires an accounting from any public agent of the administration, which Trump’s Administration regularly blocks.  Article I declares that all men are equal, in contrast to Trump’s pre-pardon of Sherrif Arpaio, and Trump’s slanders on immigrants.

Bastille Day celebrates the end of the feudal system, something that Trump has been working to restore by selling out to the fossil fuel oligarchs and Wall Street billionaires, and increasing income inequalities through more tax cuts for the super rich. He is also trying to end healthcare for those who do not get it from their employers.

Trump really represents the opposite of what the French celebrate on Bastille day. Did they invite him to try to make it a teachable moment? Or because the French Revolution was inspired by the American Revolution? Unfortunately, the lesson went unlearned.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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