Donald Trump wants a parade. The president even traveled over to the Pentagon for a top-secret meeting with military leaders, he wanted one so much. Members of Congress had a few words to say about Trump’s latest $12 million shiny idea.
Traditionally, military parades mark the end of big wars: the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Plus, members of the military often appear in small town parades as a way of increasing recruitment. They all hate to march, and Congress knows it.
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) was one of the most eloquent in his response:
‘I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud. America is the most powerful country in all of human history. You don’t need to show it off.
‘We’re not North Korea, we’re not Russia and we’re not China, and I don’t want to be. And for that reason I would be against flaunting our strength. We don’t need to; everybody knows we have it.’
Sen. John Kennedy on Pres. Trump's proposed military parade: "I don't think it's a particularly good idea. Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud." https://t.co/pcAA0fj2hD pic.twitter.com/Vs6qnq4f42
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 7, 2018
One military official told NOLA:
‘The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France.’
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis carefully avoided using the word “parade” when he spoke to The New York Times:
‘We’re all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military. We have been putting together some options, we will send them up to the White House for decision.’
Trump returned home from France after viewing the military parade in Paris, who was celebrating Bastille Day, and he wanted a parade, too. The New York Times reported that he told French President Emmanuel Macron:
‘I came back and one of my early calls were, “I think we are going to have to start looking at that ourselves.” We are actually thinking about Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show.’
Senator David Perdue (R-GA) said:
‘He’s the president of the United States. Personally, I would prefer not to do it. But he’s the president.’
Minority leader of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), noted in a statement:
‘Major national events such as the gulf war or the end of World War II, as achievements by the American people who fought in and supported those efforts. A military parade like this — one that is unduly focused on a single person — is what authoritarian regimes do, not democracies.’