There was already a #TrumpParade in DC. Not very well attended the first time, would be a waste of Pentagon time and resources the second time.
Photo: https://t.co/WYQprKDgNp pic.twitter.com/bFoNKhKKgd
— Rep. Rick Larsen (@RepRickLarsen) February 7, 2018
Excellent overview from the Washington Post‘s Ishaan Tharoor — “Military parades are about ego and power. Of course Trump wants one.”:
… In the same week we heard the president call his political opponents “treasonous” for not clapping at the State of the Union address, we now contemplate his excitement for the sort of martial display these days more associated with single-party states and irredentist autocrats.
Trump, who fondly refers to “my generals” and espouses a decidedly militarist agenda, now thinks it’s his turn. “We’re all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday. “We have been putting together some options. We will send them up to the White House for decision.”…
In a piece highlighting the difference between France’s yearly spectacular and Trump’s own ambitions, my colleague Rick Noack argued that Trump’s imagined parade is ultimately about his own brand of showboating nationalism, but that the French ceremonies nowadays commemorate something a bit more inclusive.
“France’s Bastille Day parade, which has persisted through two world wars and a Nazi occupation, has also been used to emphasize a very different message, which could be summarized as: We are only strong together,” Noack wrote. “What Trump may have missed while watching the Paris parade last July was that its organizers have frequently invited foreign troops — from Morocco and India to the United States, Britain and Germany — to march alongside French soldiers or to even lead the procession. Instead of the French flag, French soldiers sometimes wave the European Union flag, even though the political bloc does not have its own army.”…
So what’s the point? “A military parade is really a kind of ritual dance, something like a ballet, expressing a certain philosophy of life,” wrote the great British author George Orwell.
Orwell was writing in 1941, at a time when Britons faced the prospect of defeat and conquest by the Nazis. He decried the fascist “goose-step” as “one of the most horrible sights in the world,” and saw in it “an affirmation of naked power; contained in it, quite consciously and intentionally, is the vision of a boot crashing down on a face. Its ugliness is part of its essence, for what it is saying is ‘Yes, I am ugly, and you daren’t laugh at me’, like the bully who makes faces at his victim.”
This led Orwell to conclude that, “beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army.”
For Trump, the army certainly is no laughing matter — and he has picked a series of political battles with any domestic critics he claims are disrespecting the military. But while most Americans dare not laugh at their army, the reaction to Trump’s parade shows that quite a few are laughing at him.
should someone explain what Bastille Day was
and that to commemorate one
you have to have one https://t.co/zdY4oxJXPq
— Eric Rauchway (@rauchway) February 7, 2018
My take in @PostOpinions on Trump's parade idea: "At a time when every service member and defense dollar counts… this parade would put those scarce resources toward feeding the president’s ego instead of our national security." https://t.co/ZSGWFSDcx3
— Phillip Carter (@Carter_PE) February 7, 2018
The military parade will pass right by some homeless vets, I'll bet.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) February 7, 2018
My wife, on Trump’s idea of a military parade: “You know, they have a lot of parades in Disney World EVERY DAY, and it’s pretty close to Mar-a-Lago.”
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) February 8, 2018
lol. shep is amazing … "They could give him replicas. He wants to see what he has. They can give him little — I had some of those when I was a kid." pic.twitter.com/7FfV1R9Yk8
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 7, 2018