It’s no surprise that our president is a big fan of military parades. He loved the Bastille Day parade he attended in Paris last year and a similar parade he saw in China. Regarding the latter one, he remarked:
The hosting of the military parade this morning was magnificent, and the world was watching. I’ve already had people calling from all parts of the world. They were all watching. Nothing you can see is so beautiful.
It is now being reported that the president has directed the Pentagon to plan a military parade in Washington. November 11th (Veteran’s Day) has been mentioned as a possible date (although I bet he’ll want to stage it before Election Day, not after).
In response, Major General (Retired) Paul Eaton, an adviser to the progressive organization Vote Vets, issued the following statement:
Donald Trump has continually shown himself to have authoritarian tendencies, and this is another worrisome example.
For someone who just declared it was “treasonous” not to applaud him, and for someone who has, in the past, admired the tactics of everyone from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, it is clear that a military parade isn’t about saluting the military — it is about making a display of the military saluting him.
The military is not Donald Trump’s to use and abuse in this way. Our military is the very best in the world — they are not to be reduced to stagecraft to prop up Donald Trump’s image. Any commander-in-chief who respects the traditions of the military would understand that.
Unfortunately, we do not have a commander-in-chief right now, as much as we have a wannabe banana republic strongman.
It’s only a matter of time.