45th President wants a parade. He wants it in November, probably
before the mid-term elections, as a way of mobilizing his base and
glorifying himself more than, as he suggests, celebrating the
military. He wants the parade because he saw a parade in Paris on
Bastille Day. If he went to the zoo, would he next want zebras and
tigers roaming the lawn behind 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
last parade we had in Washington was in 1991, when we “won”
the Gulf War. That parade cost $14 million ($21 million in today’s
dollars), and drew 800,000 people. Given 45’s propensity for
wanting the biggest and the huuuugest, he’d probably want to
spend twice what George H.W. Bush spent in 1991. That $42 million
represents less than a millionth of one percent of the nearly $500
billion federal budget increase that the Senate proposed in
bipartisan legislation on February 7. I am among the many who will
look askance at the cost of a parade. There are lots of things we
could do with $42 million, like job creation, small Pell grant
increases, or even more amenities for our armed forces. But in the
scheme of things, some will argue that $42 million is not “that
much money”. They might suggest that a parade is more about
symbolism than anything else.
does a show of military might signal in these times? There has been
no significant military victory, nothing to celebrate except 45’s
already-inflated ego. France’s Bastille Day parade is a
response to the fact that France has been invaded twice, most
devastatingly by the Germans in World War II. Their parade is as
much a show of military might as it is of European unity. These days
troops from several countries, including Germany and the United
States, participate in the parade. Some carry the flag of the
European Union, even though the EU has no military. Would 45’s
parade include others? Or is this just about us?
of a unity-type Bastille Day parade, 45’s parade is likely a
reflection of his braggadocio. His button is bigger, so is his
parade, and so is the US military. 45’s parade sounds like a
show of muscle, but to what end? Even the inhabitant of the world’s
smallest country must know that the US has the world’s
“greatest” military. So why do we need to show off?
Because 45 is a show-off, a blowhard, and an Electoral
consider the impact a parade might have on the District of Columbia,
the used-to-be majority Black city that is mostly occupied by
Democrats. How will the streets survive huge tanks rolling down
Pennsylvania Avenue, and who will pay for repairs? How extensive
will this parade be, and will it happen on the weekend or a weekday?
What will it mean for workers, transportation, and the District’s
infrastructure? 45 probably neither knows nor cares. He passed the
hot potato of the parade to the Secretary of Defense, and now General
Jim Mattis and his team are stuck with the task. Both Democrats and
Republicans have verbalized opposition to the parade, and they are
likely to be labeled “treasonous” by 45, since anyone who
disagrees with him, or fails to clap (or bow) when he speaks is
obviously a traitor. He is behaving like a despot like his rival,
North Korea’s “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-un.
45 finds it convenient to idolize the military and insist that the
rest of us do so, as well, he didn’t find it convenient to
serve in the military. He was excused from military service during
the Vietnam era because he had flat feet or bone spurs or something
like that. More likely, he was excused from military service because
his family had money.
wants a parade to celebrate the military and glorify our country’s
military might. Next he will want to have someone crown him as King.
Yes, it is a good thing he doesn’t go to the zoo, because we
might end up with a menagerie in the back yard at 1600 Pennsylvania