By Andrew Lepore | United States
Recently, news has emerged that President Trump has instructed military officials at the Pentagon to begin planning for a grand military parade. Trump’s inspiration for the parade, likely to be held on Veterans day, came from the French Bastille day celebration which he attended last year as a guest of newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron.
The President was apparently awestruck by the display, telling reporters at a press conference following the parade “It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen. It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”
This move could’ve been predicted, as Trump added: “We’re going to have to try to top it.”
The idea has unsurprisingly seen disdain by democrats who are now conveniently concerned with the cost to taxpayers; Democratic Senator Jack Reed was amongst those in opposition to the parade, stating “At a time of stress and strain on our military budget, President Trump is proposing a costly parade that would divert needed resources from our military’s core missions.”
Also unsurprisingly, many conservatives who aren’t as quick to spend the taxpayers dollar unless the military is involved, are fully behind it.
Tammy Bruce from fox news writes on the issue “Who could argue against a parade that highlights the Americans who defend our freedom and make everything else possible? A military parade would be fun, would honor our vets and would remind the world that America is a superpower and proud of it.’ she adds “it is a perfect event symbolizing the fact that America is getting back on her feet after eight years of a commander-in-chief who reveled in complaining about America and decimating our military.
With a $700 billion military budget proposed for next year and 800 bases in 80 different countries, I don’t think the world needs anymore reminding that the United States is a superpower.
The idea that America needs to reassert itself as a superpower comes from the false notion that our military was gutted and crumbling after eight years of Obama. This is simply not true. The military budget saw a minor cut during his presidency, but even then the budget was a few billion dollars more than the next seven super powers combined. Nobody can deny the massive, almost imperialistic influence the United states has across the globe.
With that being said is there really a need to spend an undetermined amount of taxpayer dollars on a needless display of ego? The last full scale military parade was in 1991 requested by George H.W Bush to celebrate the end of the Persian Gulf War. That was a costly parade coming to a total of $9 million, in today’s value that would be almost $14 million. But at least that was for something, to celebrate the end of a war that just happened, not out of the egotistical desires of the president to throw a DPRK style military parade in order to “demand respect”.
I do believe the left is making a bigger deal out of this than they should, Some saying he’s a “Napoleon in the making” and saying he is akin to a military dictator. Although this is ridiculous, I think it is less ridiculous than the claim that America needs to “reassert its military might and command respect” as if we lost either of those in the first place. Overall, I think the idea is corny and and a parade is unneeded, not to mention a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Image from Bloomberg.