The Pentagon is planning a military parade, and the idea is going over about as well as you'd expect.
Liberals, along with many conservatives, are enraged at how "anti-American" the whole display would be. They have, of course, likened Trump to a dictator and predicted that this is yet another stage in our descent into tyranny. Some members of #TheResistance have already announced their intention to stand in the middle of the street and prevent the procession from moving forward.
The White House has said that the parade will honor our military and show appreciation for their sacrifices, but Trump's critics have, as usual, chosen the least flattering interpretation. They've concluded that it's really about honoring Trump himself. I guess this means all of these previous military parades were only about satiating the egos of George Bush, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, etc. Indeed, there was a military parade in 1942 featuring a giant sculpture of Roosevelt's head. Kennedy had a military procession attached to his inaugural parade, complete with huge missiles on flatbed trucks. Despite what the historically illiterate are now claiming, there is nothing shocking or unique about Trump's proposal.
Now, personally, I'm not crazy about spending the millions of dollars this is going to cost. But the government is wasting money on many things even more superfluous than a parade, so I don't see it as a comparatively significant financial burden to put on a show like this once every few decades or so. Speaking of putting on a show, the military has been doing fighter jet flyovers during sporting events for decades. Those cost anywhere from 100 thousand to half a million a pop. This is just like that — same idea, same principle — but bigger. So, if the parade is "tyrannical" and "fascist," then so are the fighter jets.
But neither display can seriously be called tyrannical and fascist. You may call it a waste of money if you like — we can debate about that — but there is no reason to panic over it. I'm sure it will be an awe-inspiring, patriotic spectacle that most people will enjoy. Unless Trump puts himself in the procession, being carried on a giant throne or something, I don't imagine that it will at all have the appearance of "honoring Trump." I think people will come and honor and applaud the military. Trump won't be in people's minds, anymore than he was in anyone's mind when the color guard came out for the Anthem before the Super Bowl.
Now, while we're on the subject of parades, I can't help but notice that the people so scandalized by a military parade are, in most cases, the same people who find the Women's March or a gay pride parade inspiring. The message seems to be this:
Parade with a bunch of women in vagina costumes? Awesome!
Parade with a mob of half-naked gay men? Inspiring!
Parade honoring our military? Bad taste!
I realize that the first two aren't tax funded, but the argument against the military parade isn't entirely about funding. From what I've seen, it's mostly about the American Spirit. "We aren't the sort of country that has these sorts of parades," people are saying. That's true. We haven't been that sort of country for a while. But we have been the sort of country where drag queens prance through the streets. If I have to choose between being the "military parade" sort of country or the "men wearing dresses and women wearing giant vagina suits" sort of country, I'll choose the former.
One other thought: Under Obama, the White House was lit up in rainbow colors to show gay pride. Yes, that didn't cost nearly as much as a military parade will likely cost, but, finances aside, I'd much rather the White House display its military pride than its homosexual pride. The idea that the White House would even have "pride" in a sexual orientation is weird, confused, and pretty insane. The idea that it would have pride our military is the exact opposite of all of those things.