How Many Celebrities Performed at Washington's Inaugural?

Today I am especially glad that Campaign for Liberty does not have offices in Washington, D.C. since it enables me to avoid the large crowds celebrating or protesting Donald Trump's inaugural. More importantly, I can avoid all the security "checkpoints," searches, closed roads, and other inconveniences imposed in the name of "security."

Eight years ago, I also avoided downtown DC, not just because I did not want to deal with the large crowds but because I didn't want to partake in what seems to be more like a royal coronation (or even a religious celebration of the the new Messiah) then the swearing in of the head of the Executive Branch of government -- a branch that the Founder's identified to be less powerful than the legislative.

I did get exposed to the cult of Obama (which is, or at least was) a particular fanatical denomination of the Cult of the Presidency) while eating lunch at a local food court.

The TVs where showing the inaugural parade, and it just happen to be the moment when Obama got out of the car to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I was the only person not to flock around the TV and cheer...it reminded me of something from a totalitarian nation where people voluntarily cheer their Dear Leader.

Those who think I am being hyperbolic should consider that a housemate of mine, upon seeing this remarked that it reminded him of singing songs about Uncle Saddam when he was in Kindergarten.

Donald Trump's inaugural promises to be a much less grandiose than most recent ones, and those of us who believe in a republic should be grateful. We should even be grateful for the  snowflakes celebrities who are refusing to perform. Charles Peters, writing at National Review, explains why:

Let’s hope it stays that way, because Trump is accidentally doing something conservative. As conservatives, we prefer the executive to govern in a restrained and grounded manner, not rule under the impression of regality. In order to maintain this kind of governance, reducing the grandeur and cost of state events is necessary.

Inaugural traditions should remain limited so that we, and the new president, can focus on the crucial value they represent: the smooth continuation of leadership of a republic. Rampant celebration of a new leader threatens to dilute this value and allow new presidents to consider themselves as something more than servants of the people.

As conservatives, we prefer the executive to govern in a restrained and grounded manner, not rule under the impression of regality. A lmost all aspects of the Inauguration Day events have undergone a transition over the decades from limited, sensible processes to celebrations of pomp and extravagance. The first inaugural parade to take place in Washington was Thomas Jefferson’s in 1801. Jefferson walked from his boardinghouse to the Capitol, joined by a company of riflemen from Alexandria, Va., and “fellow citizens.”

In 1953, the year of Eisenhower’s inauguration, the parade had ballooned to an absurd affair involving 73 bands, 59 floats, elephants, horses, and civilian and military vehicles.


Even the State of the Union speech has been transformed into a narcissistic address. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson delivered the State of the Union via a written report, and this remained the standard practice until Woodrow Wilson switched to reading his address in person. Nowadays it resembles a king’s speech, full of standing ovations and relentless clapping. I am unconvinced that Donald Trump will return it to its reserved, Jeffersonian form.

With every inauguration oath that is taken, presidents are treated more like royalty and less like the servants of the people that the founding fathers envisaged. But not all the early patriots agreed on this point. John Adams, America’s first vice president, argued that George Washington should have been given titles like “His High Mightiness” and “His Mighty Benign Highness.” I am immensely grateful to Adams’s unpretentious peers for preventing a scenario where Donald Trump would be known as “His Majesty the President.” Most Americans would rightly be appalled by such a title, yet still they support the celebritization of the presidency.

Celebrities are ephemeral symbols of fame and fortune. The values of the presidency could not be more dissimilar. Let’s hope that Trump’s celebrity-free inauguration is the start of a new, conservative trend for state events.

Read the whole article here.

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