Trump has a funny way of taking bipartisan things that traditionally unify people and make them divisive and political — and always all about him.
Just as he has done with Christmas and football, Trump has politicized the 4th of July, by using our tax money to pay for a ridiculously expensive — and ridiculously tacky — spectacle of power and military might complete with tanks and salutations by the various branches of our military to Dear Leader himself. Not only that, but he has designated a VIP section just for his wealthy donors. And just like with his endless golf trips and tax breaks for the rich, WE are paying for it.
There is absolutely nothing patriotic or American about this disgusting spectacle making its way down Pennsylvania Avenue today. It’s intended solely to please Trump’s base and donors. It’s basically a very expensive rally for his reelection campaign. It’s also meant to impress Trump’s dictator buddies like Putin and Kim Jung Un, who also hold military parades in their own countries.
When asked if the United States should have a military parade to “show off its might,” President Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Absolutely not. We are the pre-eminent power on Earth. For us to try and imitate what the Soviets are doing in Red Square would make us look weak.”
Eisenhower was right. Modern democracies and countries with real strength don’t lower themselves to putting on military parades. These ostentatious displays are the province of two bit dictatorships and banana republics, and Trump’s military parade is an announcement to the world that the United States has become a two bit dictatorship and is using a display of military might to compensate for its growing weakness in the world. We now have concentration camps that torture and imprison children and innocent families who try to apply for asylum. Why not show how big and tough we are by having big ugly tanks roll down the middle of our Capital and salute Dear Leader too?
Public spectacles of military prowess are nothing more than preening displays of power by insecure and cruel leaders who use bullying, punishment, torture, and intimidation to “govern.” They are not intended to be celebrations or patriotic traditions for all the citizens to enjoy, but are meant to intimidate and scare the populace, to show them they better not mess with Dear Leader. That’s what Trump is doing. This parade is also intended as a massive dose of narcissistic supply, which Trump regularly infuses himself with by holding his partisan hate rallies, among other things (like those nauseating meetings he has where his cabinet members, sitting around a long table, each have their turn to shower Trump with praise as he sits there gloating).
I know I won’t be watching Trump’s stupid narcissistic display of toxic masculinity. I’ll stick to the Macy’s Day Parade, fireworks, and hamburgers cooked on the grill.
Happy Fourth, everyone!