The Joint Service Color Guard performs at a welcoming ceremony for Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the Pentagon, Jan. 10. The combined unit includes three Army Soldiers, two Marines and one service member from each of the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard and performs in front of national and international leaders. (Photo by Army Sgt. Katryn Tuton)
I don’t particularly care about Donald Trump having a parade. Of all the things to object to about Trump, him wanting a parade should be well down on the list of things any sane person has to object to. But, hell, they’ve already objected to the guy’s hair, his grammar, choice of vacations, his wife, his kids, his business investments, his reality television show, the size of his hands, his campaign hat, the way he descends stairs, so I guess this should have been expected.
Parades are not a big deal. At one time, military parades were not all that uncommon in cities and towns across America in conjunction with Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. It used to be seen as good outreach for the Armed Forces. The kind of thing that would catch fire in the soul of some kid in Southside Virginia and let him know that there was a bigger world than chopping tobacco or working in a furniture mill. I don’t know what the purpose of this parade would be, but I’ve participated in two Veterans Day parades through downtown San Francisco and if you want to imagine something that is purposeless, well, I offer that as Exhibit A. Parades are time-consuming but as the old saying goes, “it all counts toward twenty (or thirty depending on your plans).” A day spent on a parade earns exactly as much as a day painting rocks or a day getting shot at.
On the parade and why I'm fine with it: I remember attending the 1991 parade when I was 30-years old. It was thrilling. It felt great to honor our troops and say thank you. I have no problem if a parade like this is a once-in-a-generation, not annual, event.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) February 7, 2018
In the more than 16 years since 9/11 our military has-
-Toppled the Taliban
-Defeated the follow-on AQI insurgency
-Defeated the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria
-Endured years of grinding deployments while fighting with honor
I’m fine with a parade.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) February 7, 2018
Bottom line, the president is the commander-in-chief. If he can pay for a parade, he’s entitled to have a parade. As commander-in-chief, he’s entitled to be there on the reviewing stand.
WATCH: @HallieJackson asks why does Pres. Trump think it's necessary to divert military funds to a military parade?
Defense Sec. Mattis: As far as the parade goes, the President's fondness for the military is reflected in his fondness for these options. pic.twitter.com/BwbyJVTjbD
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 7, 2018
No one has to agree that it is wise or prudent or improves readiness or anything of the kind.
Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz, who is the highest-ranking enlisted soldier in Congress, called President Trump's idea of having a military parade “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard." https://t.co/QiM8NEUsr0
— Roll Call (@rollcall) February 7, 2018
Fact Check: If you’ve actually been in the military, Mr. Walz, especially as an enlisted man, we both know, with mathematical certainty, that is is NOT the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard.
You can even not like it and still enjoy the show, just don’t publicly soil yourself and rub it in your hair. But too late for that.
I’m really not opposed to this. The idea of a “peace parade” composed of who knows what sorta-human detritus taking place at the same time as Trump’s military parade is actually appealing. If you wanted campaign video for this fall, that would be a motherlode of oppo on anyone running as a Democrat.
The parade idea is stupid. But imagining yourselves as play-acting out Tienanmen Square on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of US troops is not only stupid, it's the sort of hysterical over-reaction that makes people think Trump isn't so bad compared to you.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 7, 2018
For all that Tom Nichols’ default is pompous, know-it-all twit, he’s exactly right here. The opponents of the parade are going to end up making Trump look like a hero before they are finished. This is the garden rake laying on the lawn that these people can’t resist stepping on and slapping themselves in the face with the handle.
I think I know some people who’ve already signed on for this.