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President Trump and The Parade

"Trump - Stop!!!    Spend money on Puerto Rico, infrastructure, reduce deficit, and not on a parade that strokes your ego."  Moments later I added - "You (Trump) avoiding serving, 5 deferments."  And then - "The flag is not America.  Clapping for you is not America.  Huge parade is not America.  America is the people, not a symbol (i.e., flag, president)."


That was my initial reaction.  Clearly I was wound up, and a proper use of grammar and punctuation was not uppermost on my mind. 


I initially learned of President Trump's desire to have a military parade similar to the Bastille Day Military Parade he enjoyed in France in this Washington Post article,  "The military parade that Trump envisions was more common in another era".  According to France24, ""The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France," the military official said, according to the Post. "This is being worked at the highest levels of the military," the official added.

After the Post published its story, the White House issued a statement that said Trump "has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation."


As an USAF veteran, I rankle when I feel the military is being used for purposes other than those I swore to in the Oath of Office, that "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same".  I did not pledge to be used as a prop for the president's insatiable ego,vanity, and love of pomp and circumstance.  I also fail to understand how making those, who already serve voluntarily, practice, polish, and parade, honors them.  Perhaps the president and his administration could parade for those they intend to honor.  (Sarcasm noted).  The military - the "US business" where you die, sacrifice stability, lose forms of personal independence distinct to military personnel, endure absences from family/home, receive reassignment orders and must move - ofttimes sell/buy a home regardless of market conditions.  I do not regret at all, my voluntarily serving in the United States Air Force, but there are big and small hardships unique to military service.  And I firmly disapprove of "weaponizing" military tributes.

And perhaps I wouldn't have reacted so instantaneously and negatively to the suggestion, if I didn't sense that our president has authoritarian, strongman tendencies.  By the way, I don't get the same vibe from France's Macron.

Moscow - The Kremlin

I get the impression that Trump wants this parade to pay homage to him, ala Russia's Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping, and North Korea's Kim Jong-un, and to top Macron's parade.  Plus divide those he considers "patriots" from those he considers "traitors".  I predict that if you protest this parade - you will be accused of committing "treason" by the President of the United States.

In the past few months, President Trump has had strong reactions to those he considers being disrespectful of American symbols.  I posit that he considers the fllag and himself as examples worthy of patriotic worship.  For instance, NFL players kneeling, drew this tirade reported in Times, "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”

Or, more recently after his State of the Union, and lack of what he considered the requisite level of appreciation and applause from the Democrats, he said, "They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, 'Treasonous.' I mean, yeah, I guess, why not," Trump said, adding, "Can we call that treason? Why not.", reported by CNN Politics.

As time passed, I circled back to the original idea that a parade would divert time and money from surely more pressing issues.  I, at least, think the money would be better spent on relief for hurricane-devastated areas, wildfire devastated areas, infrastructure, education - the list is endless.  At a minimum, do not spend money the U.S. clearly doesn't have.  Or, as Senator Durbin said on MSNBC"s Morning Joe, “I say it’s a fantastic waste of money to amuse the president. Take the money that the president would like to spend on this parade and instead let’s make sure our troops are ready for battle, and survive it and come home to their families. Let’s put money into the quality of life of military families who sacrifice with our men and women in uniform and, finally, let’s make sure that we’re doing something to stop the waiting lines at veterans hospitals.”

And it would not be unreasonable to think that the Department of Defense is already busy - managing dozens of combat zones around the world, more than two million active duty personnel, planning new nuclear capabilities, instability in North Korea, and yes - climate change.  


President Trump, I consider myself a logical, rational person.  At least, the Air Force said I was when I was assigned my AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code), as a Computer Systems Officer.  Sir, I am listening.  What are you thinking? Who would benefit from the parade and what would it achieve?


Written by:  Terry Ryan, USAF Veteran, Partner - The Daily Ripple (non-profit)

Photo Credit:  Terry Ryan

Posted: 7 February 2018







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