Democrats are castigating President Trump for wanting a military parade in Washington, D.C. Eleanor Holmes Norton feigned outrage, saying:
President’s Trump’s desire to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a military parade in the style of authoritarian leaders he admires would feed his ego and perhaps his base, rather than serve any legitimate purpose or keep with any long-held American traditions.
Norton’s reference to “taxpayer dollars” is amusing. For years, Norton paid no District of Columbia income tax. When caught, she blamed her husband and divorced him.
Norton’s reference to authoritarian leaders Trump supposedly admires is also amusing. The president picked up the idea of a parade in France. Macron is hardly authoritarian. Perhaps Norton confused Trump with Barack Obama, who admired Turkey’s Erdogen and was on good terms with Cuba’s Castro and Venezuela’s Chavez.
For his part, Sen Sheldon Whitehouse compared Trump’s idea to a Soviet-style May Day parade. This is “not an image that we much associate with the United States of America,” he sniffed.
But it turns out that in 2014, Sen. Chuck Schumer called for a military parade, and New York Cit mayor Bill de Blasio thought it was a fine idea. Debra Heine of PJ Media recalls:
[O]nly a few years ago, none other than Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and New York’s Marxist Mayor Bill de Blasio enthusiastically supported the idea of a “ticker tape” military parade to honor those who fought in the war on terror.
“After all, these men risked their lives to protect us,” Schumer said (forgetting to mention women — whoops!). “They experienced terrible trial and tragedy along the way.”
According to this CBS New York report, Schumer called for “a grand event at the Canyon of Heroes that would include military brass, color guards, military bands, and fly-overs.”
“The brave men and women who have selflessly served our nation with courage and skill in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve a recognition for their sacrifice. I stand with Sen. Schumer in his call for a parade to honor our veteran heroes, and New York City would be proud to host this important event,” Mayor de Blasio proclaimed at the time. But that was way back in 2014, when it was still okay to be associated with “flashy” military parades.
Schumer and de Blasio were on to something. Our troops have been fighting deadly terrorist forces pretty much non-stop for almost 15 years. The results have been mixed, but in the main we have been successful. We defeated al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan and ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Why shouldn’t our veteran heroes be honored with a parade?
It wouldn’t be a victory parade exactly. But neither was it a victory parade when, in 1942, more than 30,000 men and women marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City for Army Day Parade. Nor had we achieved victory in 1953, when President Eisenhower’s inaugural parade included 22,000 military service members and a cannon capable of firing a nuclear warhead, or in 1961 when President Kennedy’s featured dozens of missiles as well as soldiers and sailors aboard Navy boats towed along Pennsylvania Avenue.
Reasonable people can differ about whether we should hold a military parade. But it’s unreasonable to suggest that there’s anything un-American about the idea. Chuck Schumer and Bill deBlasio weren’t being un-American or unduly nationalistic/militaristic when they called for a military parade, and neither is President Trump.