Opinion: A parade of Trump’s insecurities


So now he wants a parade.

Row after row of tanks rumbling through Washington, followed by howitzers and armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, mortars and anti-aircraft guns. F-35 flyovers, a Stealth bomber — no, a fleet of Stealth bombers — and attack helicopters, not to mention HUGE missiles, so long you wouldn’t believe how long.

You know who throws huge military parades for no real purpose? Countries that are insecure about their power and identity do. And until now, that hasn’t been us.

In the words of John Kennedy, a Republican senator from Louisiana:

“Confidence is silent; insecurity is loud. America is the most powerful country in all of human history; everybody knows it, and we don’t need to show it off. We’re not North Korea, we’re not Russia, we’re not China. And I don’t want to be”

No date for this extravaganza has yet been set, but Veterans Day has been proposed. As White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained it, “President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe. He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”

If that’s indeed the purpose — if we want to honor veterans who fought and sacrificed for our country — then let’s do exactly that, in ways consistent with our civic tradition. Instead of ostentatious shows of military armament, let’s take the many millions of dollars required to move all that equipment and active-duty personnel to Washington and instead use it to transport tens of thousands of veterans to the nation’s capital. Let’s line the streets with their American fellow citizens and give them a rousing show of thanks. Maybe the president could even throw open the doors of the Trump Hotel to veterans needing a place to stay.

But as we all know, that’s not going to happen, because it’s not really about them — with Trump it’s never about them. This parade idea is about him. It’s about the ego stroking, the joy of watching all that military power parade by him, saluting him, celebrating him….

If we’re going to do this, though, let’s do it right. And to do it right, Trump’s going to need a uniform. It will have to be a personalized commander-in-chief uniform, since that uniform he wore back in the New York Military Academy might not fit so well these days. We’ll also need to accessorize that uniform with lots of flair, what the military calls “fruit salad” or “chest candy.”

I’m thinking the Order of the Double Cross. A badge honoring Distinguished Service in the Conquest of Supermodels. The Combat Inaction medal, with Bone Spur Cluster and five Deferments. The Battle of Manhattan medal, marking Trump’s service as “a great and very brave soldier” in what he called his “personal Vietnam.”

As to the uniform itself, it has to be something special, made of a fabric created especially for this occasion. For that, I recommend reaching out to our friends in Denmark, the homeland of Hans Christian Andersen. Local tailors there have long experience making new clothing for emperors and other dignitaries, and they would be perfect for this job.

Sean Hannity would find the presidential uniform utterly spectacular. Devin Nunes would draft a memo celebrating its manly beauty. The Trump Cabinet would convene a special meeting just to profess its admiration. Because if we as a nation are going to parade our insecurities for all the world to see, then so too should our president.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: Just saying yes to drug companies

Last week we learned that Novartis, the Swiss drug company, had paid Michael Cohen — Donald Trump’s personal lawyer — $1.2 million for what ended up being a single meeting. Then, on Friday, Trump announced a “plan” to reduce drug prices. Why the scare quotes? Because the “plan” was mostly free of substance...
Opinion: Trump breaks bread, glasses and party at lunch

POTUS coming to Tuesday lunch. Translated, the president of the United States is joining 50 Republican senators in the Capitol to crash their private Tuesday lunch. Nobody is glad to hear this on the Senate side. We love the constitutional separation of powers. The Senate is the last citadel of democracy, they say. We in the press are free as birds...
READERS WRITE: MAY 20

Current pols’ mixing of church and state’s unseemly The flurry of so-called conservative candidates for state offices are now blatantly touting their “Christianity” on their TV commercials. We also have a Democrat candidate mentioning her preacher parents as one of her qualifications for office. There are all kinds of &ldquo...
Opinion: Colleges are uneasy mix of ideology, donor dollars

Thanks to a group of courageous and persistent students, George Mason University was recently forced to acknowledge that it had accepted millions of dollars from billionaire Charles Koch and other conservatives under arrangements that gave the donors input into several appointments at the university’s famously libertarian economics department...
Opinion: Anything is possible in latest round of outrageous events

Once I would have rolled my eyes at a “Homeland” season in which the Russians deftly maneuvered to control whether a Democratic woman, an increasingly paranoid former junior senator from New York, would occupy the Oval Office. Last year, I shook my head at the “Billions” plotline showing a top New York law enforcement official...
More Stories