Donald Trump wants a military parade through Washington, D.C. -- so he can emulate his authoritarian heroes. I was going to rant about this -- but I couldn't do better than the two responses below. The first is a serious response from retired Major General Paul Eaton, and the second is satire from the inimitable Andy Borowitz.
General Eaton writes:
Donald Trump has continually shown himself to have authoritarian tendencies, and this is just another worrisome example.
For someone who just declared it was ‘treasonous’ to not applaud him, and for someone who has, in the past, admired tactics of everyone from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, it is clear that a Military parade isn’t about saluting the military – it’s about making a display of the military saluting him.
The military is not Donald Trump’s to use and abuse in this way. Our military is the very best in the world – they are not the be reduced to stagecraft to prop up Donald Trump’s image.
Any commander in chief who respects the traditions of the military would understand that. Unfortunately, we do not have a commander in chief, right now, as much as we have a wannabe banana republic strongman.
Mr. Borowitz writes:
The Pentagon has turned down Donald J. Trump’s request for a grand Military Parade in Washington, D.C., citing a sudden outbreak of bone spurs that would prevent men and women in uniform from participating.
Harland Dorrinson, a Pentagon spokesman, said that, within an hour of Trump’s request, more than a hundred thousand military personnel complained that they were suffering from acute cases of bone spurs that would make marching in such a parade a painful ordeal.
“In the history of the U.S. military, we have never experienced a bone-spur epidemic of this magnitude,” the spokesman said. “Regrettably, however, we have no choice but to issue thousands of deferments.”
A statement from the bone-spur sufferers said that they would continue to valiantly serve their country around the world in a non-marching capacity, and offered an alternative to their participation in Trump’s proposed pageant.
“President Trump is welcome to march in the parade all by himself if he would finally like to enlist,” the statement read.