Tuesday, February 06, 2018


I don't actually think the president is baiting us with this, but I see a lot of liberals rising to it as if it's bait:
President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces....

“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”
If Trump were smart, he'd be using this to troll liberals. If he were a shrewd, cynical manipulator of public opinion, like the message-shapers of the Reagan administration, he'd be using this to drive a wedge between his critics and heartlanders, who'll take this at face value and embrace it (though probably not as enthusiastically as they might have in the 1980s, when their anger at '60s/'70s critics of America was still raw). If he were an adept totalitarian, he'd use this as a genuine assertion of his power.

But he's Trump, so he'll just spend hundreds of millions of dollars to ship weaponry to the streets of D.C. because he's an overgrown eleven-year-old boy still mentally living in the 1950s, and also because he's a crushingly insecure plutocrat who needs a steady succession of gaudy displays in order to feel that he's adequately demonstrating his own greatness to the world.

This parade won't be part of a grand plan to crush democracy in America -- there won't be roaming goon squads, and a protest will probably be permitted, though at some distance from the main event. Trump might want the parade to intimidate foreign foes, but it won't accomplish that goal, because the military will probably agree to display only weapons our enemies already know about. This will just be a pointless moment of excess, with Trump using weapons the way, in his hotels, he uses gilt.

Fox will broadcast the entire parade live -- and in order to avoid McCarthyite attacks, so will MSNBC and CNN. The coverage on Fox will be ecstatic (I'm guessing the Fox & Friends crew will do the honors), while on MSNBC, Chris Matthews will probably match the Fox crew in enthusiasm, reprising his embarrassing performance on "Mission Accomplished" day in 2003.

And then it will be over, and we'll be the same country we were beforehand. Trump will have gotten his testosterone rush. The real work of harming America will be taking place elsewhere, in meetings of House and Senate Republicans and in Cabinet-level departments run by cynical, grasping officials who despise ordinary Americans.

Seriously: Don't get worked up about this. If you get worked up about this, your resentment will be the story: There go the liberals, hating America again. Don't give them the satisfaction. Seventy-two hours after it's over, we'll be chasing some ridiculous Trump tweet, and no one will remember the parade even happened.

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