08 February 2018

He loves a parade

Credit the President with at least the smarts to emphasize consistently that his desire to stage a military parade in Washington DC was inspired by last year's Bastille Day event in France. While I dimly recall him expressing a desire for such a parade earlier than that, citing the French republic as his model is an implicit preemptive strike, for all the good it'll do him, against the charge that he wants the kind of show that dictatorships and authoritarian regimes put on. It does him only limited good because I've already seen headlines claiming that his itch to hold a parade proves his desire for militant despotism. This was inevitable and unsurprising. The bellicosity of such displays is sure to turn off many Americans who claim to pride themselves on what the country stands for, rather than its raw military might. Just as inevitably, complaints about the parade will play into the President's hands. He will no doubt say, if he hasn't already, that critics of his idea "don't love" Our Troops. Regardless of what he says, most Americans simply aren't going to be reminded of Kim Jong Un or Red Square by the sort of show Trump proposes. They'll more likely just find it cool, and his supporters in particular probably pride themselves more on the country's raw might than on what the country stands for (i.e. them). My advice to the opposition would be to swallow their aesthetic distaste for the would-be spectacle and their suspicions toward what it might represent. If you're an elected official and you're invited to a reviewing stand, be there. If you're an ordinary citizen, exercise your right to ignore the event. Either way, it won't be as bad as you think, and you may look worse making a stink about it.

1 comment:

hobbyfan said...

Someone commented on this on one of the message boards I frequent, and I opined that Trump's desires for a military parade sounded like he was being again played up as a man-child. A child sees something he finds interesting, he's going to want it for himself. In Trump's case, it's monkey see, monkey want.