By Nayia Faxio-Douglas | Staff Columnist
Since Trump was inaugurated as the president of the United States he has created his own agenda, much different from our previous presidents. As a result of Trump’s unique campaign strategy many events that our previous presidents attended have failed to welcome President Trump with open arms. Not to mention events in which Trump has cordially failed to attend on his own.
The initial moment of surprise occurred just a month after his inauguration. Trump was the first president in 36 years to avoid attending the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner in 2017. Since the list of invitees included many of his colleagues, whom he depends on to run a smooth presidency in the White House, it was very peculiar not to have him there. Despite the fact that the president usually hosts the event, he chose instead to travel to Pennsylvania for a campaign rally. There, he addressed his absence.
“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel room in our nation’s capital right now,” he said. “I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington’s swamp, spending my evening with all of you.”
His response was not taken lightly by Democrats or Republicans.
In the same year, Trump and the First Lady neglected to attend the Kennedy Center Honors, which awards some of the biggest influencers in arts and entertainment. This decision stemmed from many of the entertainers announcing that they may not attend if Trump were to go. Gloria Estefan even acknowledged that she’d take part in the honors in hopes that she would get the opportunity to talk immigration with Trump.
In addition to the long list of events President Trump didn’t attend, he failed to participate in any of the cultural events supported by the White House in the prior years. These events include the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, the annual White House Cinco de Mayo celebration and the annual White House Ramadan Dinner.
Although he neglected to attend the annual dinner, he replaced his absence with a picture he posted on Twitter, depicting him eating a taco bowl and stating “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”
To accommodate the Muslim community, a statement from Trump was released on the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan in which he states, “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity.” He notes their helping nature by also stating that they break bread with people from all walks of life.
As the rebellious pattern of Trump’s behavior continued, it didn’t come as a surprise when he stopped attending or even recognizing traditional events in American history. But when events such as the ‘Pittsburgh not Paris’ rally occurred, it further signified to both Democratic and Republican officials that Trump did not understand the full meaning of the progression of unity that formed the nation as we know it. Instead, he took America as an entity that can work alone. When the president made the decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, he was of course backed by his supporters, but where did these irrational decisions lead him?
While President Trump was not invited to attend the royal wedding, his most recent rejection of entry was to former Senator John McCain’s funeral, which McCain personally requested himself in accordance with his last wishes. While Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, were provided a place within the church to celebrate the life of Sen. McCain, McCain’s daughter, Meghan, took multiple jabs at the president during the eulogy she gave, stating, “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”
These very events and celebrations are set in place to unify the diverse ideas that make up America. Trump, being the leader of this great country, carries the slogan “Make America Great Again,” Given his lack of interest and or the need of his presence, how much does he know of the real America?