Donald Trump seems to be drawing inspiration from North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.
Following in the footsteps of leaders (and dictators) across the world, the newly inaugurated U.S. president declared Jan. 20 — that is, the day he was officially sworn in to office — as the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.”
Apparently, the billionaire business mogul proclaimed his inauguration a holiday sometime after the ceremony, but he did it so quietly that no one even learned of its existence until the announcement appeared in the Federal Register.
“A new national pride stirs the American soul and inspires the American heart. We are one people, united by a common destiny and a shared purpose,” it said. “Freedom is the birthright of all Americans, and to preserve that freedom we must maintain faith in our sacred values and heritage.”
As the Guardian noticed, the proclamation sounded a lot like Kim’s speeches in recent years.
For instance, addressing a military parade in Pyongyang in 2015, the leader of the hermit kingdom thanked the “heroic men and women” of the army who, “in hearty response to the party’s appeal, have worked with patriotic devotion and created one heroic miracle after another.”
Trump wanted tanks in his parade and has now declared a National Day of Patriotic Devotion. He’s Kim Jong-un with more money and less taste.— Damien Owens (@OwensDamien) January 23, 2017
Trump's Patriotic Devotion Day resembles North Korea's Generalissimo Day. By "patriotism," he means loyalty to him. https://t.co/T9rVaTrx3f— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) January 24, 2017
Kim Jong Un made the day he came to power a national holiday called the National Day of Patriotic Devotion. Crazy! Oh wait, Trump did that.— Betty F*ckin' White (@BettyFckinWhite) January 24, 2017
In addition, the similar litany of religious buzzwords as used in the statement usually appears in North Korean propaganda material.
“Our Constitution is written on parchment, but it lives in the hearts of the American people. There is no freedom where the people do not believe in it; no law where the people do not follow it; and no peace where the people do not pray for it,” Trump’s proclamation further read. “There are no greater people than the American citizenry, and as long as we believe in ourselves, and our country, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”
What is more ironic is the fact this talk of strengthening “our bonds to each other and to our country — and to renew the duties of Government to the people” is coming from the man who frequently calls his critics and opponents his “enemies.”
Case in point:
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016
How can a sexist, racist, xenophobic reality TV star with no political or military experience and a weird obsession with the crowd size at his inauguration bring America together through a national holiday?
In 2009, former President Barack Obama proclaimed the day of his own inauguration the “National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation,” calling “upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.”
However, “Day of Patriotic Devotion” not only strikes a different note, it also seems like a sad self-honoring attempt on Trump’s part.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters