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Trump idea of 'National Garden of American Heroes' raises questions

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A new national park populated with statues of "American heroes"?

The surprise idea, proposed by President Donald Trump over the July 4 holiday weekend, hardly seems likely to calm the partisan passions deeply dividing the American people.

And it raises questions about what exactly such a park might look like, and whom it will celebrate upon its aspirational opening date of July 4, 2026.

Coming just four months before November's presidential election, the proposal reinforces the image of a president who has given up any pretense of uniting the country, instead choosing to play one voting bloc against another.

Announced without any evident consultation, the proposal comes as demonstrators nationwide have been demanding the removal of -- and sometimes forcibly pulling down -- certain historic statues, particularly those of generals of the Civil War South seen as glorifying a racist past.

Side-stepping the larger argument and reducing the protest movement to a series of violent acts, the Republican president has positioned himself as a defender of the country's "integrity" in the face of "the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators and the looters."

To Julian Zelizer, a professor of political history........

© Japan Today