President Trump kicked off Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting by announcing his desire to hold a “Salute to America” parade on the National Mall. “We’re thinking about doing, on the Fourth of July or thereabouts, a parade, a ‘Salute to America’ parade,” said Trump. “I guess it’d be really more of a gathering than a parade. Perhaps at the Lincoln Memorial … But we’re thinking about doing something that would, perhaps, become a tradition.”
Unfortunately for the president, the National Park Service is already on top of that tradition, hosting an annual Fourth of July parade on Constitution Avenue, featuring marching bands, big balloons, and units from the armed forces — the sort of patriotic adornments that Trump was not able to secure for his absurdly expensive military parade scheduled for last year.
During the meeting, Trump said that acting Interior secretary David Bernhardt would helm the project, giving him a Fyre-like, six-month window to prepare for what would be a massive event. But, later in the day, an Interior department spokesperson gave CNN a statement that sounded like the type of encouragement a teacher might give to an ambitious kindergartner who will forget about the plan tomorrow: “Salute to America is a great idea. We are working diligently to present the best options to the White House.”
The president’s comment on Tuesday falls into the burgeoning category of “Things Trump Has Proposed That Already Exist.” In November 2018, upset by his presentation on CNN, Trump put forward the idea for a “worldwide network to show the World the way we really are,” apparently unaware of Voice of America, the government-funded media distributor founded during World War II to do just that. (In his defense, most of VOA’s media output is consumed abroad.) In June 2017, Trump suggested a policy that bars immigrants from receiving welfare for their first five years as citizens — a law that has existed since 1996, as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. In April 2018, when China upped tariffs on agricultural commodities, Trump proposed subsidies for farmers, as if government aid to the industry didn’t already number in the billions. And there’s this classic: In February 2018, during a meeting in which Trump said violent media may be to blame for America’s blight of mass shootings, he suggested, “Maybe they have to put a rating system” in effect for movies and video games.