Opinion: Is Trump’s Military Parade Appropriate?

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I love our military and I love President Trump. Having said that, as a conservative, I’m not convinced Trump’s idea of a military parade showcasing our power and might in the form of tanks and missiles is entirely appropriate right now. We are a nation in debt and the cost alone (not yet announced, but expected to be in the millions) for such a display is enough to make me cringe. Add to that, the fact that it seems to be a popular choice of dictators, and it just seems kinda risky.

I appreciate the sentiment behind it. I do. But, the question is what do we have to gain from this parade? The world already knows we can kick all of their a$$es if we wanted to, and at the same time. So I don’t think the intimidation factor is necessary. If the purpose is to truly honor our military, how about we find another way? Perhaps there is a way to actually improve the lives of the military on bases. A more tangible benefit than a parade in Washington? If Trump were to ask military men and women for ideas I am quite sure they would have some thoughts on better ways to spend the millions that this event will cost.

This may be my first major disagreement with President Trump, and I do trust his instincts more each day. But this parade just seems to be a huge cost for very little benefit. Generally, I believe that bragging often stems from a lack of confidence. How do you feel when you watch North Korean military displays? I find them depressing and forced.

North Korean Military Parade

On the contrary, Tammy Bruce, in a Fox News op-ed argues that if liberals are against it, it must be a good idea. Here is some of what she has to say:

“President Trump wants a parade celebrating our military and troops. It’s a great idea, and 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.

The hysteria the proposed parade has provoked among Democrats and leftists provides even more proof that it’s the right thing to do.

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.

For eight years, President Obama’s administration worked hard to tell the world that America was done. He slashed the military’s budget and withdrew us from the world. Horrifically, on foreign soil he apologized for and chastised his own country.

President Obama gave the impression, through word and deed, that he thought the U.S. was the problem in the world.

The result was abject chaos, terrorist groups spreading around the world like cancer, economic stagnation, North Korea getting atomic weapons, and a worldwide refugee crisis the extent of which had not been seen since World War II.

Critics of President Trump’s parade idea complain that only tyrants and strongmen want military parades. But President Trump’s inspiration was the Bastille Day celebration and military parade he viewed in France – a Western nation with a democratically elected government that no one could accuse of being an oppressive military dictatorship.

You can hear the naysayers’ contempt hiding under a cover of faux respect in the arguments against a parade, but most share one thing: a revulsion at the idea of military hardware being seen and celebrated. For other whiners, it’s being against anything they think will make President Trump even more popular.

Ultimately, the attitude that having a parade is dangerous or bad sends a specific message: that Americans can’t be trusted, that we should be ashamed of ourselves and embarrassed by our strength.

And there is another important reason to have a parade: to signal to the world that America is indeed back, our hands are untied, and we are again standing up.

Ms. Bruce makes some great points, and if money grew on trees instead of from paychecks, I might be more willing to consider the idea a good one. But the cost, coupled with the undignified feeling a parade like that invokes, makes me think just because Democrats hate it is not enough for me to. I am as surprised at that statement as the next guy.

However, I do support any kind of recognition of our military, a group that gives so much and certainly receives too little. I can’t help but wonder if there is a better way to honor our military without looking like we are turning into a warmongering nation that feels the need to show everyone the size of our “hands.”

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