In a week filled with yet more White House scandals– the deputy chief of staff and a speechwriter resigning over spousal abuse; a high-ranking justice official suddenly quitting; former insider Amarosa Manigault-Newman describing the White House as “bad” –Donald Trump ordered the military to stage a parade, “like the one in France.”
Jake Novak of CNBC wrote: “Take a good look at the Bastille Day parade from last year, and it’s not hard to see why such an event appeals to Trump. That’s because the Bastille Day parade isn’t exactly like the Nazi or Soviet military parades of the past. The stars of the French parade aren’t the politicians or even the weapons, but the actual troops and military veterans… Polls show that America’s troops continue to be stronger supporters of this president than the public at large. U.S. military veterans are much more pro-Trump than almost any other group.”
The event would cost millions of dollars and many politicians and military officials have spoken out against the idea. USA Today reported, “House Democrats on Thursday introduced the ‘PARADE’ Act — otherwise known as the Preventing the Allocation of Resources for Absurd Defense Expenditures bill — which aims to keep taxpayers from footing the bill if President Trump’s dreams of a military parade do, indeed, come to fruition.” According to The Hill, a whopping 89 percent of Military Times readers responded to a survey by answering, “No, it’s a waste of money and troops are too busy.”
Because there are some who defend the idea and claim such a parade would help the armed forces recruit soldiers, I checked on what the military already spends to promote itself. According to foxnews.com, “A watchdog report from the Government Accountability Office found the federal government is spending upwards of $1.5 billion a year on public relations and advertising… Most ($1 million) of that money goes toward advertising. Another roughly $500 million goes toward salaries for federal public relations employees.”
Well, one and a half billion dollars buys a helluva lot of promotion, so I suspect Mr. Trump doesn’t want a parade for the purpose of recruiting. Your thoughts?