Friday, February 9, 2018

I don't love this guy's parade

Military parade in North Korea

Hup, two, three, oops!
Try to skip, try to skip, try to skip.
Hup, two, three, darn!
My inability to stay in step has plagued me throughout my marching career. In fact, it nearly sank my effort to avoid the Vietnam draft by becoming an officer in the U.S. Air Force. An Air Force guy, I figured, wouldn’t be slogging through the jungle fighting the Viet Cong. I could skip all that.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t skip – never could, since I was a little kid doing “Skip to my Lou” in Mrs. Jerrells’ music class in Wickenburg Elementary School. Mrs. Jerrells made me sit out numbers that involved skipping. Alas, I missed out on such classics as “All around the mulberry bush, the money chased the weasel … “
And alas, I couldn’t get in step, left-right-left-right-left with the rest of my squadron in marching around the university parade ground in Air Force ROTC.
I think my ROTC instructors finally decided that marching wasn’t that important to real-life Air Force officers. So like Mrs. Jerrells, they let me slide by, mostly out of step, but a good officer candidate otherwise.
All of which brings me to the subject of this guy, Donald Trump, who got out of military service because of “bone spurs” in his heels but now wants a massive military parade in Washington, D.C. with thousands of marching soldiers, tanks, missile launchers and airplanes.
The Washington Post first reported that Trump has been pushing for a huge martial parade in Washington, D.C., like the one he saw in Paris last year. Trump was French President Emmanuel Macron's guest on Bastille Day, and he later called the French military parade he witnessed "one of the greatest parades" he had ever seen.
According to the Post, “Trump was awestruck by the tableau of uniformed French troops marching down Avenue des Champs-Elysees with military tanks, armored vehicles, gun trucks and carriers — complete with fighter jets flying over the Arc de Triomphe and painting the sky with streaks of blue, white and red smoke for the colors of the French flag.”
Trump dreams of a similar, but even greater spectacle thundering down Pennsylvania Avenue, with the Marine Marching Band playing, drums pounding out a cadence for a thousand marching feet, war machines rumbling and fighter jets roaring overhead.
Which shows how completely out of step this guy is.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson sums it up this way: “Trump is more a creature of instinct than calculation. My guess is that both his narcissism and his authoritarianism are at play in his need to honor himself with a parade ….
“Imagine all the love he would feel while reviewing a miles-long parade whose participants all had the sworn duty to show him respect as commander in chief. He would be saluted and serenaded to his heart’s content. It would be an egomaniac’s heaven.”
This war parade he so desperately wants would be, as MoveOn says, “a waste of our taxpayer dollars, would not do anything to keep our country safe, and would not honor the men and women in uniform. Its entire purpose is to let Trump play dictator for a day, further eroding democracy, and pushing our country even closer to authoritarianism.”
That’s why I signed MoveOn’s petition urging Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to act immediately and shut down Trump’s war parade.
In this way, I feel totally in step with what I should be doing.


Anonymous said...

Yes Tom. Your in step with real life. Multiple reasons I pulled the plug and retired instead of staying longer.
More and more importance was put on how you looked. Not how you did your job.
A parade like described. does Not gift or help patriotism. All it does is negative impact on the military and equipment.
Good to see such a well written post. Joe

Anonymous said...

So good to see you back Tom. Allowing Trump to play dictator for a day could only whet his appetite and that's why I'm taking my virtual pen and heading over to MoveOn!

Tom Walker said...

Thank you, Joe, and Anonymous for your comments. I really appreciate them.