Harry Kazianis: Trump haters wrong to criticize him for Fourth of July celebration

Once again, the radical left has found a new way to create a national controversy over something that should be celebrated by all Americans as a source of pride. But this time, they’ve gone too far and need to be called out.

Fueled by their hatred of President Trump, some on the left are telling us it is politically incorrect to honor America’s battle for freedom against tyranny and what keeps such tyranny at bay – our world-class armed forces.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Keep in mind, when the Declaration of Independence was issued on July 4, 1776, it did not transform America from 13 British colonies into an independent nation. It was just a statement of what our founders wanted.

It took the Revolutionary War – fought by brave patriots with the best weapons they could get their hands on – to convince the British to give up their colonies and recognize the United States of America was now truly independent.

Without a military force, which was led by Gen. George Washington, the 13 colonies might have remained under British rule for decades longer. Keep in mind that our neighbor Canada did not gain independence from Britain until 1867, and Britain held onto colonies in other parts of the world well into the 20th century.

Yet progressives, NeverTrumpers and of course The New York Times are outraged that President Trump is showcasing our armed forces in the celebration of Independence Day in our nation’s capital, which the president is calling a Salute to America.

The Greatest Generation didn’t defeat Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy by staging peace rallies and protest marches, or by diplomatic negotiations. It took the deadliest war in history – claiming an estimated 70 million to 85 million lives – to end the dreams of world conquest by the Axis powers.

Let’s face it: without a strong military, we not only would have failed to win our freedom in the Revolutionary War, we would have failed to keep it in later conflicts.

The Greatest Generation didn’t defeat Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy by staging peace rallies and protest marches, or by diplomatic negotiations. It took the deadliest war in history – claiming an estimated 70 million to 85 million lives – to end the dreams of world conquest by the Axis powers.

So the idea that the U.S. armed forces will play a big role in this year's Independence Day festivities should not be considered shocking, offensive or inappropriate. Without a strong military, we could be dominated by another nation today.

The firepower on display on the National Mall will be impressive – as it should be. M1 Abrams tanks and world-class military gear will be displayed – and no, they aren’t rolling down the streets, but will be stationary.

There will also be a flyover by some of America’s most powerful aircraft, such as the B-2 stealth bomber, and the F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.

President Trump is showing off the best America’s armed forces have to offer – and calling attention to the brave men and women who have volunteered to put their lives on the line defending our nation.

But that is not all you will see if you head to the festivities or view them on TV. The celebration will be capped off by a speech by President Trump and a grand fireworks display.

This is something we should do every year – regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican occupies the Oval Office.

No American should ever fear symbols of our national power. There are countless airshows, National Guard events, and open military base events around the country that act as symbols of pride in our country.

I will never forget how when I was a boy I was able to get close to a now-retired F-117 stealth fighter and speak at length to the pilot who flew it. That interaction might even be part of the reason why I work in think tank studying national security issues today.

In fact, the only people that should ever fear our awesome weapons are our foreign adversaries.  

What am I missing? What is wrong with taking pride in a U.S. military that is the finest in the world? How can we be upset by celebrating the wonderful men and women who defend our country and keep us free?

I would be willing to wager most Americans are – like me – are proud to see such a display of our nation's strength. In fact, it was President Trump who made it a centerpiece of his presidential campaign to ensure our armed forces would receive the military equipment they need after years of lean budgets and budget sequestration when President Barack Obama was in the White House.

The support our current president gives daily to our military and his constant shows of patriotism should be a unifying force. These should be universal principles we all support, regardless of party, politics or anything else.

However, any conservative knows by now that anything involving President Trump is a triggering event to the left – and that’s a real shame.

Clearly, our nation has much bigger concerns to worry about these days than the celebration of our independence. Let’s have a meaningful debate on things like immigration reform, what to do about Iran or North Korea, how to fund our entitlement programs, how to keep our promises to seniors, or the state of America’s crumbling infrastructure.

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Fighting over the celebration of the Fourth of July is simply a waste of our time.

Happy Fourth America, and thank you to all who serve in our armed forces to keep us free.

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