President Trump, who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War by claiming he had debilitating bone spurs, likes to brag about how powerful he is making our nation’s military and that he has a bigger “nuclear button” than does North Korea dictator Kim Jung-Un, whom he calls “Rocket Man.”
Now, Trump is pushing the Defense Department to orchestrate a grand parade so he can stand and salute while soldiers and sailors march down the boulevards of Washington, DC, with tanks rolling, showcasing the mighty power of America’s armed forces. He got the idea when he saw the Bastille Day parade in Paris last July, which he attended as a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron.
According to The Washington Post, Trump was awestruck by uniformed French troops marching down Avenue des Champs-Elysees with military tanks, armored vehicles, gun trucks and carriers — and fighter jets flying over the Arc de Triomphe, painting the sky with streaks of blue, white and red smoke for the colors of the French flag.
Aboard Air Force One en route home from Paris in July, aides said Trump told them that he was dazzled by the French display and that he wanted one at home.
As The Post pointed out, shows of military strength are not typical in the U.S., and they don’t come cheap. The cost of shipping Abrams tanks, rockets and high-tech hardware to Washington could run into the millions, and military officials have been unclear about how they would pay for it.
Who does Trump think he is? Another Putin or Rocket Man? He’s willing to spend millions of dollars that we don’t have just so he can stand and salute and watch all the soldiers with their guns, the tanks and the rockets? And then be able to brag about it? Will he demand that they goose-step like the North Korean soldiers do for Kim Jung-Il?
Wouldn’t that money be put to better use by supporting programs to help our veterans? By improving our VA hospitals and overall medical care? By improving benefits , education aid, and financial support for their families?
After The Washington Post broke the story about the parade plans being developed, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that plans are underway.
“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” Sanders said. “He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”
There are plenty of ways that we can show our appreciation to the brave men and women who have fought for our country and continue to serve. My father was one of those, actually serving in three wars. But is having a big parade where we can brag about how powerful we are the best use of the resources that it would take to do that?