Trumping for a Parade

Kassandra Travis
Staff Writer

Opinions_Trumping for a Parade_Kassandra Travis_Flickr User_Alejandro Montes García.jpg

PC: Alejandro Montes García/Flickr

Is America ready to dish out $30 million for a military parade? According to Trump we are! President Donald Trump is ready to share his dream of celebrating our military by hosting an extravagant parade for our armed forces.

America is typically known for being proud of their military, yet we have never seen the need to host a yearly celebratory parade. Our country’s pride and dedication revolve around our military, and millions of dollars spent on a parade is an unnecessary expense that our country doesn’t need.

National debt is not a new thing for the United States. Every year our debt toll climbs higher and higher. By the end of 2018, our projected governmental debt is estimated to be around $24.58 trillion. On top of this appalling debt that our country is accumulating, we are also faced with Trump’s wall on the southern border of the United States.

According to the New York Times, this wall would be estimated to cost near $70 billion to build, and $150 million to maintain each year. With all these large expenditures being proposed by our President, it seems that money isn’t an issue, even though the citizens of America will be the ones ultimately responsible for footing the bill.

Many have criticized this idea of a military parade, and for good reason. Trump has a one-track mind of flamboyantly showing off our military, yet our Pentagon is struggling to cover other more important expenses. Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, states “I have various different cost estimates from between I think $10 million and $30 million depending on the size of the parade, the scope of it, the length of it.”

The last military parade was held in 1991 to celebrate the victory of the Gulf War, costing America approximately $12 million. So it stands to reason people from both parties are criticizing the idea of throwing another one.

This parade will not only waste millions of dollars from our taxpayers, but will also not give our military and troops what they really need: a good leader and better resources. Senator Tammy Duckworth states “Our troops in danger overseas don’t need a show of bravado, they need steady leadership, long-term funding and resources so they can stay safe while protecting and defending our nation.”

President Trump and Vice President Pence claim that this parade is a way to honor and celebrate our military, but is that truly all there is to it? Instead of focusing on the importance of our troops, Trump is instead using this to inflate his ego as President.

President Trump’s strong desire for a military parade grew after witnessing France’s annual Bastille Day Parade, and was even quoted saying “It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen” and, “We’re going to have to try and top it.” These do not sound like the words of someone wishing to solely honor our troops.

This comes across more as an argument between children saying ‘mine is going to be better than yours.’ Vice President Pence, who recently stated how horrible of an idea it was for North Korea to host a military parade so close to the Winter Olympics, is now fully on board for a military parade of our own.

Another issue with the possibility of this military parade is the close link that it shows to North Korea. It is no secret that North Korea hosts a very precise parade for their military, and it almost seems as if we are falling into line with them by creating our own. Even Representative Barbara Lee stated that the President’s parade plans were “very similar to those held in authoritarian countries like North Korea.”

Previous American Presidents have never felt the need to instill an annual military parade to show America’s courage and durability. President Trump’s idea is to show American confidence and strength, yet is that what we will really be doing?

North Korea is fond of the saying “a frightened dog barks loudest,” and with all the negativity between America and North Korea, this military parade seems like a ‘loud bark’ response from the United States to the threats of an attack that we have received.

America does not need a military parade. We need a strong, dedicated leader that makes the wisest decisions possible for his country. Let’s place this ridiculous idea of a parade behind us and focus on the more important matters at hand: our military and the citizens of the United States of America.

Categories: Columns, Opinions

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