Military Parade? Your Authoritarianism Is Showing, Trump

If Donald Trump gets his way, we may very well see tanks, artillery and soldiers marching down the streets of Washington D.C sometime this year. Apparently, the president has visions of hosting a grand military parade to tout the United States’ military strength.

The kind of governments that typically roll tanks through their cities to evoke fear and respect are authoritarians trying to heighten the appearance of control. Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein and Joseph Goebbels all held military parades before losing power; Kim Jong-un has one slated for this week.

It’s well documented that Trump loves authoritarians, though, so it’s not particularly surprising that he’d steal a move from their playbooks. Nevertheless, it’s an embarrassing waste of time, which is why Care2 members are signing this petition, Tell President Trump No Military Parade.  

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis confirmed that Trump has called for a military parade, claiming it shows the president’s “respect [and] fondness” for the armed services. He says the Pentagon is cooperating with the White House and plans to present some options for the suggested event.

Reportedly, Trump was inspired to have this event after witnessing France’s annual Bastille Day celebration. The competitive side of him came out and he told the press, “We’re going to have to try and top it.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Trump has no clue that it’s a celebration of the French people eventually revolting against an ineffective, out-of-touch ruler.

Besides, there’s no need for the United States to try to show off its military power – this country indisputably has the biggest and strongest military in the world. In fact, the U.S. spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined.

Given the rate at which the United States interjects itself into global military conflicts, it’s safe to say that the rest of the world is already familiar with what our tanks and weaponry look like.

Though the U.S. has held a few military parades throughout its history, Slate points out that the distinction is that these events were held in celebration after successfully winning a war, such as World War I, World War II and the Spanish-American War. Although we’ve been engaged in warfare over the past couple decades, to declare ourselves the victor in any of these interventions would be phony.

Liberals have largely come out against the proposal, and even some conservatives in Congress are mumbling negatively about the parade, primarily because it would prove to be quite an expense. “I don’t believe we should have tanks or nuclear weapons going down Pennsylvania Avenue,” said U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin. “Cost would be a factor.”

It’s premature to attach a dollar figure without knowing the scope of the parade, but for comparison’s sake, the last military parade in the U.S., which followed the Iraq War, cost $13.8 million (adjusted for inflation.) That’s a lot of money to spend on something just because the president thinks it would be cool.

Take Action

It’s time we stop allowing the president to take this country down a path toward authoritarianism. Let’s save displays of military might for dangerous situations when freedom is at stake, not so the president can brag to North Korea about how big his button is again. If you agree that this parade is completely unnecessary, urge Trump and the Pentagon to squash the parade before it starts.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for sharing

Paulo R
Paulo R9 months ago

revolting man, signed. ty

Amanda M
Amanda M10 months ago

Jen S, let's not put it past the little creep to want to design a uniform like that. What That Idiot and his Big Corporate toadies need to do is stick a crowbar into their overstuffed wallets and cough up their excess to help those of us who work our butts off doing REAL jobs (for many of us, more than one job!) and STILL can barely make the rent because the jobs pay bubkes! Twitler needs a spanking, and not from a hooker!

Eric Lees
Eric Lees10 months ago

Ok for this I would agree we could have a military parade to celebrate the end of the endless war on terror and our many decades of interventionist foreign policy which brought us 9/11.

"I’m all for a parade if it’s to celebrate bringing our young men and women home from these unauthorized wars overseas." Justin Amash

Jen S
Jen S10 months ago

Trump's ego is boundless; what next, a Napoleonic uniform for the little man? Maybe some gold epaulets and lots of braid, perhaps some shiny riding boots similar to what the SS wore during World War II?

Winn A
Winn A10 months ago

tRUMPie is such a moron . . . . . . .

Winn A
Winn A10 months ago


Paul Carter
Paul Carter10 months ago

In the UK we have special military units, in out of date uniforms, to fulfill pomp and ceremonial duties. It's a tourist attraction. If someone suggested we had tanks rolling down the streets as well, they would be told where to go. They would spoil the tourists' pictures. That is if we could find some that were not in use somewhere overseas.

Debbi W
Debbi W10 months ago

NO Parade, not on OUR dime. Let him pay for it. He wants national Homage for his fragile ego. Let him visit his pal Putin or visit Kim Jung Un.

Anne Moran
Anne Moran10 months ago

It will never be as big as Kim Jung Un's parade...