The Pentagon and the White House have both confirmed that they are planning a military parade.
The parade, which is expected to take place later this year, was requested by President Donald Trump. Many liberal lawmakers have come out against the idea as being pointless and too expensive. And many conservatives actually agree.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to Trump’s military parade plan as “cheesy and weak.” John Kennedy, a Republican Senator from Louisiana, also criticized the president’s plan, saying, “America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off…I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud.”
Perhaps even more important than the opinion of lawmakers is the opinion of a former military serviceman. Robert O’Neill, who identifies as conservative, is a retired Navy SEAL and was part of the group that conducted the raid that lead to the death of Osama Bin Laden.
O’Neill posted his opinion of Trump’s proposed parade on Twitter, saying, “A military parade is third world bullshit. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.”
A military parade is third world bullshit. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.
— Robert J. O’Neill (@mchooyah) February 8, 2018
It is easy to understand exactly what O’Neill is saying. Military parades are usually a tool of poor and authoritarian countries, used to stroke a dictator’s ego or make the country look tough. An example of such would be North Korea, who actually held a military parade just before the start of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The parade included thousands of troops and allowed the nation to show off it’s weapons.
Most people understand that grand displays usually come from a need to compensate for something, or as Senator Kennedy said, a place of insecurity. Given the opposition his proposed parade faces, perhaps Trump should find another way to show off.