Of Course Donald Trump Wants A Military Parade

Of course Donald Trump wants a military parade, it would be consistent with his delusions of grandeur.

Not long after returning from his visit to France for Bastille Day last summer, President Trump commented approvingly about the military parade that the French hold every year to mark the day, which he reviewed alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, and suggested that we should have something similar here in the United States, and suggested July 4th as the day for such a parade. At the time, most people dismissed the comment as just another random comment from a President apt to make such comments without ever actually following up on them, and the idea largely disappeared from the news rather quickly. Behind the scenes, though, the idea apparently stuck with Trump, and The Washington Post is now reporting that Trump apparently asked his top military advisers to put together a plan for just such a parade, and planning is going forward:

President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.

Trump has long mused publicly and privately about wanting such a parade, but a Jan. 18 meeting between Trump and top generals in the Pentagon’s tank — a room reserved for top-secret discussions — marked a tipping point, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

Surrounded by the military’s highest-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Trump’s seemingly abstract desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive, the officials said.

“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”

Shows of military strength are not typical in the United States — and they don’t come cheap. The cost of shipping Abrams tanks and high-tech hardware to Washington could run in the millions, and military officials said it was unclear how they would pay for it.

A White House official familiar with the planning described the discussions as “brainstorming” and said nothing was settled. “Right now, there’s really no meat on the bones,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

After The Washington Post first published this story, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement confirming that plans are underway.

“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” Sanders said. “He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”

The Pentagon also confirmed the plans following The Post’s initial report. “We are aware of the request and are in the process of determining specific details. We will share more information throughout the planning process,” Defense Department spokesman Thomas Crosson said in a statement.

The inspiration for Trump’s push is last year’s Bastille Day celebration in Paris, which the president attended as a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump was awestruck by the tableau of uniformed French troops marching down Avenue des Champs-Elysees with military tanks, armored vehicles, gun trucks and carriers — complete with fighter jets flying over the Arc de Triomphe and painting the sky with streaks of blue, white and red smoke for the colors of the French flag.

Aboard Air Force One en route home from Paris in July, aides said Trump told them that he was dazzled by the French display and that he wanted one at home.

It was still on his mind two months later when he met with Macron on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump told reporters. “It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”

Seated next to Macron, Trump added: “We’re going to have to try to top it.”

Several administration officials said the parade planning began in recent weeks and involves White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, but they cautioned that it is in the preliminary stages. D.C. officials said they had not been notified of parade plans.

A date has not been selected, although officials said Trump would like to tie the parade to a patriotic holiday. Officials are weighing weather patterns as well as competing events, such as the massive annual Independence Day celebration on the Mall.

Trump officials had discussed Memorial Day on May 28, and July 4, but the Pentagon prefers Veterans Day on Nov. 11 — in part because it would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the victorious end of World War I and therefore be less associated with the president and politics. “That’s what everyone is hoping,” said the military official.

It is unclear what role Trump would play, whether he may perhaps serve as a grand marshal or observe the spectacle from a reviewing stand.

As The Washingon Post’s Dan Lamothe notes, the kind of parade Trump wants to see is something that belongs in another era, and it is likely to receive a mixed reception at best in the modern era:

Trump’s interest in having a large-scale military parade now is likely to receive a mixed reception, especially among those who are concerned about nationalism, militarism or the president’s past praise for authoritarian leaders. The tradition stretches back centuries but typically has followed the conclusion of wars.

After the Civil War, a two-day celebration that included a military procession known as the Grand Review of the Armies occurred on May 23 and 24, 1865, with President Andrew Johnson presiding just weeks after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. More than 145,000 Union soldiers paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, according to the nonpartisan Civil War Trust.

After World War I, parades in New York, Washington and other cities greeted “doughboy” soldiers as they returned home from the battlefields of Europe. Army Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, often cited by Trump as a hero, led thousands of soldiers through the streets of New York on Sept. 10, 1919, as they returned home. Pershing then did the same about a week later in Washington.

After World War II, a similar parade was held Jan. 12, 1946, to celebrate the Allied victory over Nazi Germany and the other Axis Powers. About 13,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division marched through the streets of New York, representing U.S. troops everywhere in a celebration that included tanks and planes.

National military parades after that were scant — in large part because the United States could not declare victory in Korea or Vietnam — although some past commanders in chief, including President Harry S. Truman, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy, have had military equipment, including tanks, involved in their inaugural parades.

More recently, the United States has grappled with whether to recognize veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a national parade — and when.

After the last U.S. combat troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011, a U.S. military spokesman told reporters that although there was a groundswell of support to honor Iraq War veterans with a ticker-tape parade in New York, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had reservations because the war in Afghanistan was still underway.

“We simply don’t think a national-level parade is appropriate while we continue to have America’s sons and daughters in harm’s way,” Col. David Lapan, a spokesman for Dempsey, said in 2012.

As Lamothe notes, a military parade in Washington, D.C. would not be unprecedented. The most recent such event, though, occurred nearly twenty-seven year ago after the end of the Persian Gulf War when General Norman Schwarzkopf led American troops and a display of some military equipment down Constitution Avenue on in Washington, D.C. as part of a celebration of the troops in that war that included events on the National Mall that day that included a display Patriot missile batteries that had become famous for their role as part of a rudimentary missile defense during the war and a fireworks display that night. I attended that parade as did a crowd that likely amounted to tens of thousands of people. The parade consisted mostly of troops marching in formation, military bands, and some smaller vehicles such as the Humvee, which had become famous during much of the media coverage both during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Additionally, there were flyovers by some of the types of aircraft that had taken part in the war, including a Harrier Jump Jet that landed on the National Mall, an event that I didn’t personally witness.  There were even Abrams Tanks, which proved to be a problem when it turned out that the massive vehicles and their treads had left indentations in the streets that cost a not insignificant amount of money to repair in the months afterward. There was a similar parade, of the ticker tape variety down New York City’s “Canyon of Heroes” around the same time. It was, a fun event, but it was also the last time that we’ve seen any such parade in the Washington, D.C. area or any other American city. Instead, Americans have traditionally opted for parades featuring floats, marching bands, and local groups such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  Finally, as noted above, there was some discussion about having a parade for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, but those plans were pushed aside when it was pointed out that such an event might not be appropriate while American men and women were still fighting and dying in both countries.

Some observers, such as The Fix’s Aaron Blake, calls the idea Trump’s “biggest troll yet” while his colleague Callum Borchers says that it would provide Trump with exactly the kind of media spectacle that he revels in:

Days before he emceed Washington’s last military parade in 1991, ”Today” show star Willard Scott sat for an interview on CNN and delivered a message to critics of the event and its $12 million price tag.

“Everybody has a right to their own opinion,” Scott said. But, he added, “the majority of people,” himself included, “desperately want to show some kind of appreciation and respect. And patriotism is really nothing more than pride, and pride is respect, and I don’t see anything at all wrong with it.”

As President Trump directs the Pentagon to plan a similar showcase of military might, he is surely hoping for the same kind of flag-waving media coverage that went along with President George H.W. Bush’s tribute to Operation Desert Storm 27 years ago.

“In the heady atmosphere of triumph, the media’s much-vaunted detachment has gone out the window,” Jeff Greenfield, then a correspondent for ABC’s “Nightline,” observed in a telecast on the night before the parade.

“From the corporate sponsors, from the press, from the president of the United States comes the same message,” Greenfield added: “These huge celebrations are to welcome home the men and women who helped produce the most sweeping, decisive U.S. military victory in nearly half a century.”

If Trump’s vision becomes reality, expect him to borrow from this old script. Trump recently said it was “un-American” and maybe even “treasonous” (the latter comment being a joke, supposedly) for Democrats not to stand and applaud certain lines in his State of the Union address. Imagine what he will say about anyone who does not cheer a heavily armed celebration of U.S. troops.

For Trump, media consultant to himself, the beauty of a military parade is that even reporting that attempts to be purely descriptive will project the strong image he desires.

Consider the scenes depicted in major newspapers in 1991.

“Stealth fighter planes zoomed overhead, tanks and Patriot missiles rolled by and more than 8,000 battle-clad troops marched past a beaming President Bush in a display of the American military might that crushed Iraq in 43 days of combat,” read a Los Angeles Times article.

The Washington Post reported that “a Harrier jet and a formation of helicopters blew gravel, and a few minds, as they landed on the grass between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument.”

Not surprisingly, Trump’s critics are not impressed with the idea.

Jennifer Rubin, for example, cites it as an example of how those around Trump are unable to deter him from making the kind of ostentatious statements for which he’s become known:

We are the world’s only superpower and do not need theatrical presentations to demonstrate our power.  Trump’s elevation of generals and newly retired generals to high civilian posts has already given his administration the aura of a Praetorian Guard, inverting the normal relationship between civilians and the military. We’ve already seen the downsides of the militarization of White House personnel and the president’s disturbing tendency to consider the military his personal (“my generals”) fighting force obligated to follow any order, no matter how contrary to the laws of war it may be. A Trumpian hardware display would complete the disturbing portrait of an administration out of touch with our traditions and norms.

The incident is illustrative in two respects. First, apparently no one has the ability to deter Trump from making wasteful, embarrassing and self-defeating requests of the military. The favored tactic seems to be simply to wait for it to leak or slow-walk a bad idea (e.g., banning transgender troops) until the courts or something else intervenes. Ironically, learning to ignore the commander in chief may be the military’s highest obligation. And second, is Trump unaware of the existing holidays — full days of tribute — which the country uses (Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Armed Services Day) to pay tribute to the finest fighting force the world has ever known? Surely he must recall events held on these days during his first year in office. Perhaps Trump needs to play less golf and spend these days attending existing tributes to our armed forces in ways that highlight them and their sacrifices. His attendance at a series of these celebrations in each year of his presidency would surely call the public’s attention to these fine men and women.

Paul Waldman, meanwhile, calls it a “surpassingly dumb idea”:

This parade is surpassingly dumb for any number of reasons both practical and symbolic. It will not only cost millions of dollars, it will divert the participants and planners from their actual jobs defending the country. How many hours of practicing, how many personnel pulled from their duties to handle the logistics, how much in transport costs and cleanup costs and repairs to streets ripped up by tank treads will the whole thing involve?

We don’t know yet. But The Post quotes a source saying: “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.” After all, it’s not like they have anything better to do.

And just who are we trying to impress? Is there any adversary, current or potential, who believes America’s military is weak but would be convinced otherwise by a bunch of troops and materiel traveling up Pennsylvania Avenue?

We all know what the real purpose of a parade is: not to show that the American military is big and strong, but to make Donald Trump feel big and strong. Don’t be surprised to read afterward that Trump had to be talked out of appearing in a military dress uniform complete with decorative medals and a golden sash.

The parade will of course be presented as “honoring the troops,” as though we have a real problem these days with people not making a public show of praising the troops often enough. Along with that assertion will be the insistence — not even implied, but directly stated — that if you say it’s a stupid idea, then it means you hate the troops, and America to boot.

In reality, like everything Trump orders, this will be about him, not about the troops or America or anything else. He is the most self-focused president we’ve ever had. This is a man who regularly refers to ”my generals and my military” and says things such as ”I’ve created over a million jobs since I’m president,” who slaps his name on everything in sight, who is so childishly self-centered that his national security briefers make sure to mention him every few paragraphs in any document they give him, knowing that’s the only way he’ll read it.

Rubin and Waldman come from opposite sides of the political spectrum, but they’re right in their reactions to this idea. From Trump’s comments and the way in which he acts, it’s become quite clear that he is utterly fascinated by displays of military might, and that he enjoys the kind of adulation that is typically given to the kind of authoritarian ruler that he seems to gravitate toward, such as the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and The Philippines and, of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin. The prospect of being able to put himself at the center of a similar nationalistic display is no doubt something that appeals greatly to those instincts, and the fact that his Administration will pass it off as a celebration of “the troops” will provide him with the kind of cover he needs to justify the absurdity of a spectacle like this and make it appears that those who are either opposed to or skeptical of it are against the troops and, of course, “un-American. He may even dust off the claim that such critics are “treasonous,” just as it is in his mind treasonous to fail to stand and applaud for the President even when you disagree with his policies. While this rhetoric may not play well beyond Trump’s base, it will resonate with many Americans in some respect, especially if it is sold as a tribute to the truth, and that will achieve Trump’s purposes as much as anything else.

Given that Trump is the man at the top of the government, it seems likely that a parade like this will happen at some point in the future and that it will coincide with a national holiday of some kind. Given the apparently still rudimentary planning stage that all of this is in, a parade as early as Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, or July 4th, seems unlikely, especially since there are already military-themed events that occur on and around those holidays already. That leaves Veterans Day as the most likely option, and perhaps this year would be an appropriate year since it would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Whenever it is, though, if Trump wants his parade he’ll get it one way or the other. I doubt I’ll be watching, though.




FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Military Affairs, National Security, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. MarkedMan says:

    If such a parade takes place, I, for one, will be there holding a sign that says “Hold your weapon high if you think Trump is a moron!” (This, based on some vague memory that soldiers march with their weapons held up high across their chest…)

  2. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I can’t remember the last parade I watched…probably the Essex, CT Halloween Parade which features kids in costumes. (BTW – one of the great civic events in the country.)
    The idea of watching proud American Troops goose-stepping for the Dear Leader turns my stomach.

  3. Gobsmacked says:

    Trump doesn’t want a parade to salute the military, he wants the military to salute him,

  4. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    The idea of watching proud American Troops goose-stepping for the Dear Leader turns my stomach.

    You say that now, but on the occasion of the 25th Annual Military Parade, covered by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen and organized by a Democratic president, those goose-steps will give you chills.

  5. Gustopher says:

    How does the military define a political event? This seems to be a political event, which would mean that soldiers are not allowed to appear in uniform, nor are they required to attend.

    Also, since this is a country where so many now believe that pharmacists shouldn’t have to dispense emergency contraception, what are the safeguards for any soldiers who have strong objections to participating in a 3rd World Dictatorship Spectacle?

  6. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce: goose steps always give me chills.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    I expect the military leaked this, expecting the reaction to kill it. Of course Trumpsky will only be aware of the backlash if FOX covers it. Last I looked their only story was DC Democrats mock Trump’s military parade, will try to stop it. They only quotes are the DC mayor saying they’ll look at how to ensure any event is consistence with “the vision, values, and operations of the District”, and a councilman

    I’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t think this is really about one thing and one thing only — a fragile man trying to feed his own ego

    I think we can forget about this parade. Of course we haven’t heard from Hannity yet.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    Your photo reminds me, did Trumpsky ever actually make the donations to vets orgs he promised for that battleship speech?

  9. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:


    goose steps always give me chills.

    As if having this buffoon as C-in-C isn’t chilling enough.

  10. Kathy says:

    I doubt the French will lend Donnie their troops and gear for a parade in Washington.

  11. grumpy realist says:

    Someone pointed out that the heavier stuff (a.k.a. tanks) also does quite a number on pavement, so there’s the projected damage to the D.C. roads as well.

    Why don’t we lead Cadet Bone Spurs into a large hall lined with mirrors, a Napoleon Coronation costume, and a tape of people clapping? And then lock the door…..

  12. James Pearce says:


    goose steps always give me chills.

    Good one.

    (Surely, then, you know the difference between goose stepping and what our military does.)

  13. CSK says:

    So Donald wants a parade to glorify himself? Given that he dodged the draft, and boasted on several occasions that his “own personal Vietnam” consisted of avoiding STDs, why not a procession of giant inflated condoms down Pennsylvania Avenue?

  14. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    Maybe he can get one of those many-times larger than life posters done to put behind his reviewing stand. That’ll show Little Rocket Man fer shur.

    But we will need to carefully measure photos from Rodong Sinmun to make sure that Trump’s picture is bigger–bigly bigger!

  15. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    (Surely, then, you know the difference between goose stepping and what our military does.)

    Our military doesn’t do parades for the personal viewing pleasure of the President, either. Well until now.

  16. Tyrell says:

    There are parades for St. Patricks Day, Santa Claus parades, gay pride parades, Super Bowl parades, World Series parades. Certainly there should be a grand parade to honor our military.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Someone pointed out that the heavier stuff (a.k.a. tanks)

    It’s not just the weight. It’s the treads too. I live near DC and will be very p*ssed if we end up with roads full of potholes because the Bald One in Chief stages a spectacle so he has something new to fantasize about while he whacks off on in his cheeseburger-wrapper littered bed.

  18. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Trump isn’t “honoring the military”; he thinks it would be great if the military honored him by parading past him.

  19. Bill says:

    Now if the parade happened on May 1st it would be just further proof of the Russian connection.

  20. Mikey says:

    What an enormous waste of resources this thing is going to be (assuming it doesn’t take so long to plan that it never actually happens…wink wink nudge nudge saynomore).

    All to soothe a man-child’s fragile ego. “I want a parade like they had in France, waaaahhhhhh…”

  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    Next thing you know, Donald of Orange will want to re-introduce Nixon’s WH Guard Uniforms

  22. Scott says:

    @Tyrell: That’s why we have Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Veteran’s Day parades.

    The pretty much universal reaction among the vets I work with (including me) was “barf”.

  23. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    No, he’ll want to wear one.

  24. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Our military doesn’t do parades for the personal viewing pleasure of the President, either.

    It wouldn’t be for the “personal viewing pleasure of the President,” dude. You know who would really dig it? Military families.

    At least Tyrell gets it:

    There are parades for St. Patricks Day, Santa Claus parades, gay pride parades, Super Bowl parades, World Series parades. Certainly there should be a grand parade to honor our military.

    Not 10 downvotes, of course, but he gets it the issue.

  25. grumpy realist says:

    I think this article has the right suggestion for the military.

  26. Kathy says:

    @Mikey: Trump deserves nothing less than a Roman Triumph.

    Step one: build a wall around Washington, D.C. After all, our Dear Leader can’t do a dramatic entrance through the city’s gate if there is no gate. For a gate, you need a wall.

    Step two: Trump enters the city wearing a purple tunic with gold embroidery and full battle armor, mounted on a yuge white horse. I forget whether he also wears the laurel crown or not, but at least he doesn’t need to paint his face red; orange is close enough.

    Step three: Dear Leader leads a procession of his legions (unarmed), followed by the spoils of battle (whatever they are in this case, he could copy Caligula and display starfish and seashells), and prisoners in chains (nobles in gold chains, of course). And a YUGE float of the electoral college map as well.

    Step four: gladiatorial games and tons of free food for the whole populace for three days. That ought to sell the idea.

    Of course, this whole thing must be granted by the Senate, but that’s what slim majorities are for. Besides, anyone who votes against it is a traitor and an enemy of the people.

    Naturally we’d omit the official who keeps telling Dear Leader “Remember thou art mortal.” Instead Pence or some other flunkycan lead the crowd in cheers.

  27. al-Ameda says:

    one way or another the man is is going to ‘Dukakis’ himself


  28. Scott says:

    @James Pearce:

    You know who would really dig it? Military families.

    No. Not really. Military families already live this. On their bases and posts and all around their military world. They would rather have their husbands, wives, mothers, fathers home near them. They do not need a parade to cheer their family.

    Parades, like most of what passes for honoring the military, are the military equivalent of the religious concept of “cheap grace”. Shallow and ultimately not very meaningful.

  29. Franklin says:

    You know who else likes parades?

  30. James Pearce says:


    Parades, like most of what passes for honoring the military, are the military equivalent of the religious concept of “cheap grace”.

    So? This is a twofer for Trump. Dazzle the rubes with the “cheap grace” like he always does, in an election year no less, and also get every self-righteous hater on record as being against the military parade, which in Dummyville, is basically the same thing as being against the military. Shallow’s baked in. Let’s not let it get the better of us.


  31. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce:

    It wouldn’t be for the “personal viewing pleasure of the President,” dude. You know who would really dig it? Military families.

    Reports are that the President wants tanks and other heavy military equipment in this parade. I was unaware that the tanks had families.

    It’s possible to do a military parade that honors the troops for their service — tying it to Veteran’s Day would be a good start, and maybe even making it all veterans rather than active duty soldiers. Bring out a ceremonial casket for every war where we lost people, with a flag appropriate to the time period, and pall bearers and honor guard with similarly appropriate uniforms, drawn from currently serving forces.

    That would be a moving, appropriate military parade which would honor the sacrifices of those who died fighting for our country, those who survived, and those who are still fighting now.

    Given our Trump, is there any reason to believe that it will be that type of parade? Or is it far more likely to be a show of force and technology, with the soldiers as props?

  32. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    It wouldn’t be for the “personal viewing pleasure of the President,” dude.

    You cannot be serious. OF COURSE it’s for the personal viewing pleasure of the President. Why else would he order them to do it? Haven’t you gotten it yet? For Trump, EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TRUMP.

    You know who would really dig it? Military families.

    Yeah…I don’t think so.

    I did 20 years in the military, so I have a lot of military friends, both veterans like me and their families. Between “real life” and the Facebook, several hundred people. The overwhelming–I mean, like 99%–are Trump supporters. The wall? They love it. Bigger, better Gitmo? Sign them up. Deport all the Dreamers? They’ll drive the buses.

    But you know the one thing they oppose, the one huge, glaring outlier, the one thing on which these arch-conservatives agree with bleeding-heart liberal me? Trump’s parade idea. To a man, to a woman, with 100% uniformity, they’re against it.

    Because even to the military mind’s authoritarian bent, a USSR-style parade of military props down Pennsylvania Avenue is a step over the line. It’s simply not the American way. We don’t need a parade to show off our power. It speaks for itself.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: I was thinking that you were going to suggest throwing Trump to the lions….

    Now THAT’s a Roman tradition I could get behind! Yoo-hoo, Praetorian Guard listening?

  34. Matt says:

    @Scott: Even the Trump supporters in my military family (generations) think it’s a waste of time and money.

    I live within a 30 minute drive of a large military base (along with some armories). I see military families everywhere I go. General consensus seems to be that it’s a waste of *insertchoiceher*.. Even my pro trump buddies are against the parade. “that’s something the soviet union does” with variations. “fck europe and their parades” etc.. I know some very colorful people and every single one of them would be p**sed if they had to go do a parade.

  35. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist: What have the lions done to deserve Trump? They didn’t vote for him.

  36. James Pearce says:


    Given our Trump, is there any reason to believe that it will be that type of parade?

    I have reason to believe that it will be a garish, obnoxious, poorly-attended display. I encourage President Trump to spend at least a few hours every day between now and July planning his parade.


    It’s simply not the American way. We don’t need a parade to show off our power. It speaks for itself.

    I never considered “the American way” to be an immutable law of existence, and as alluded to in my first comment, I can see Trump throwing his parade and then Americans deciding –like we did with fly-overs at sportsball games and taking our shoes off before getting on airplanes– that this is what we’re going to do now.

  37. Joe says:

    I was on the Mall for the 1991 parade. I most remember the fly over of various military jets, low and slow. That made an impression, with attack planes flying over the Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. It was like some apocalyptic movie. Frankly, I don’t remember the parade on Constitution, though I am sure I watched it.

  38. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Since Trump professes to be an admirer of French military parades, maybe he ought to remember that Bastille Day celebrates the occasion when the people of Paris seized (and later destroyed) a prime symbol of tyranny. That shouldn’t be a comforting thought for someone who seems to think of himself as a king.

  39. Jake says:
  40. Tyrell says:

    @James Pearce: That’s what gets me. How can anyone be against a parade to honor our veterans, military leaders, and a chance to show some of their new hardware. I would certainly consider making the drive up to “Old D.C” to see such a sight. Yes there are parades on Veterans Day and other days. Those are great, but why not make it bigger and better? And how many children and young people have ever seen four star generals and the joint Chiefs of Staff in person?

  41. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    I can see Trump throwing his parade and then Americans deciding –like we did with fly-overs at sportsball games and taking our shoes off before getting on airplanes– that this is what we’re going to do now.

    Taking our shoes off at least has a valid rationale. Fly-overs at sporting events are a relatively economical recruiting tool.

    I can’t see how either of these is true of Trump’s proposed USSR-style military parade, which would be horrendously expensive and a gargantuan waste of valuable training time, and accomplish nothing besides puffing up his inane ego. And, as both Matt and I said above, the idea has met with near-universal derision among the military and veterans.

    It will happen once, if it happens at all.

  42. James Pearce says:


    How can anyone be against a parade to honor our veterans, military leaders, and a chance to show some of their new hardware.

    There are ways. Some of the con arguments are better than others. Behind most of them I sense there’s a fear that a military parade would rally Trump’s base and be good for his approval numbers.


    It will happen once, if it happens at all.

    If it happens, it won’t be “USSR-style” and it won’t be any more detrimental to anything than any other parade. If they hold it in Philly, Philadelphians will be like, “The Super Bowl parade was bigger.”

    It also shouldn’t pose any dilemma to any Democrats. There’s no reason why only Republicans get to be conspicuously pro-military.

  43. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: Doesn’t matter if it’s three Jeeps and a cadet squad, it’s still wrong. The American military is not a collection of props to make Dear Leader feel his penis is adequately sized.

    There’s no reason why only Republicans get to be conspicuously pro-military.

    Wasting millions of dollars of defense funding, and thousands of man-hours of valuable training time, are anything but pro-military. The members of the military understand this very well, which is why nearly all of them oppose this idiotic idea.

  44. TM 01 says: