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Trump struggles to add star power to his moment of glory, faces boycott


USA

Trump struggles to add star power to his moment of glory, faces boycott

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The inauguration of the president of the United States will bring eight hundred thousand supporters of Donald John Trump together in triumph. Yet the occasions’s federating patriotism appears weakened, marked more by what is missing than is present and on display.

The stage is set for an historic moment. The rehearsals are done and all is ready to go but the occasion’s gloss may be fatally cracked by a surge in boycotts.

Civil rights leader and Democrat congressman from Georgia John Lewis says he will stay away for the first time in 30 years. Trump is “illegitimate” because Russia’s intervention renders the election null and void. Trump told him to look after, in his words, “his crime infested district” instead of talking.

That sparked a chain reaction and now at least 60 of his Democrat colleagues have joined him. Beyond backing Lewis others have added other criticisms of their own. Some have said they would just rather stay at home. Others are joining the Women’s march the following day.

The great showman and TV star must surely be a little miffed showbiz has, for the most part, politely declined his invitation, some more than others. Few artists allowed him to use their music while campaigning. Now it seems few want to share the greatest stage of all with the property and casino tycoon.

The Donald has at times cast his net far and wide, going to Italy for Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion from Canada, or Britain’s Elton John. Barring last minute surprises, America’s biggest names have declined to appear. Some have even pulled out after saying yes and horrifying their fans.

Only in December Trump had tweeted artists and celebrities were queuing up to come to his inauguration events, but the winner also grudgingly recognised the vast majority of the glitterati had supported his rival Hillary Clinton.

As have three million more Americans. Friday’s show will be like a family party without a vital member, a reflection of the divided nature of post-election America.

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