The best way we can honor our soldiers is not by having a gigantic, costly parade for them through Washington D.C. The best way to honor them is to not allow Donald Trump to use the military as a prop to further his nationalistic goals.
Let’s consider for a moment Trump’s tirade against NFL players who he said dishonored the military by kneeling in silent protest, which it should be emphasized were done to highlight racial injustices in America. Does anyone with a reasonable mind truly think Trump was sincere in his chastising Twitter rants?
It’s hard to believe so, especially after watching video of him during an actual singing of the national anthem at the college football championship game. Trump flubbed the anthem, singing at some parts and stopping at others. It’s widely assumed, following that horrid performance, that he doesn’t actually know the words to the Star Spangled banner.
It’s more likely that Trump was insincere about his motivations for attacking black NFL players, using his base’s natural instincts to respect the flag in order to score political points. And that’s largely how I view his plans for an elaborate parade supposedly honoring U.S. troops.
It becomes more difficult to argue against the idea that the president is using nationalism to further his agenda when you consider that his initial budget, which he proposed last year, cut significant funding to programs meant to help veterans.
Here’s an idea: instead of spending potentially tens of millions of dollars in order to have an elaborate parade, spend that money on the troops themselves. Make sure that when they come home, they don’t just see they’re respected, but they feel as much, too.
Let’s not kid ourselves: Trump’s scheme to create a parade for the troops is really a means to a different end, one in which the president hopes to capitalize on nationalistic sentiments. That’s dangerous territory to wade in, and we should not take these plans lightly as they’re sure to move forward in the months to come.