After toasting President Trump and his Administration the best for a successful term of office, it did not take long to find my first criticism (about the same time as his predecessor). I was appalled to hear after the Inauguration that the Trump team wanted to have tanks and missile launchers added to the Inaugural parade like some homage to the North Korean “Dear One.” As someone who is an admitted die-hard traditionalist, I was truly shocked by the effort. I was in utter disbelief that the Trump team would want such an image — and a departure from our long-standing tradition. I still hope that this report is false because it would show a stunning lack of perspective and judgment. However, I have not been able to determine if the story is true. It appears based on one source and one site has pulled back from the initial story which appeared on Huffington Post and MSNBC. If this is a fake news story, I would like to see that confirmed and the culprits revealed. Either it is a shocking lack of judgment on the part of the Trump team in proposing the military display or the media in spreading this story. It is news either way. If false, I would have to hear soon from the Trump Administration. One learns in Washington that you have to stomp out false stories within the first 48 hour news cycle. We are past the cycle without a clear response from the Administration.
The Hill and other sites is reporting that the team proposed the tanks and missile launchers to the shock of military officials. First and foremost, the Trump people did not seem to consider what an over 100,000 pound tank would do the roads in the Capital. Second, the military is proud of the tradition of civilian leadership and the professionalism of their force. They tend to resist being put on show by politicians, even the president.
Flyovers have been long-established by tradition. It is just the image of a type of parade before Lenin’s tomb that would have rested badly with many of us.
Trump’s own comments seemed to reinforce the story when before the Inauguration he said “Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country. And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military.”
That does not necessarily mean that he wanted to include a Soviet-like display at the Inauguration and I sincerely hope that he (and his team) did not want such a display. We are all proud of our military but I am most proud of its history of adherence to civilian leadership and its professionalism. This is not the image that they want and it is not the image that most Americans want of our military. However, as my kids constantly tease me about, I am a sucker for military marching bands and formations. I love to watch our soldiers and sailors in formation and to hear their amazing bands. The objection is only to parading of massive weaponry which has long been a signature of our enemies from the Soviet Union to China to North Korea to Iran.
Obviously there are more important policy issues to discuss but I would be curious as to whether this story is true and that such a request was actually made to the military and refused, as reported by Huffington Post.
What do you think?