Friday, July 12, 2019 | 2 a.m.
President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July parade was a tribute to his autocratic impulses. Our most important national holiday looked like a vision of Putin’s America.
Instead of having a dignified ceremony of civic pride, Trump injected himself on the scene to put on a show of force, punctuated by his speech. Trump’s military puffery made us look like a small-country cabal and revealed the insecurities of a small-minded man.
Since 1776, we have been at peace for about 20 years. We have spent trillions of dollars to make the world safe for democracy, while our infrastructure is crumbling and human suffering continues.
Trump’s showboating was a thrashing of our basic American traditions. It was an abuse of our civil-military apolitical association. The GOP dispensing of tickets for VIP seating to its poohbahs was an affront to the public trust.
We should thank the men and women of the military for their service. However, the spectacle with the military hardware overshadowed the presence of members of the armed forces.
Perhaps we should pardon Trump for wrapping himself in the flag while being a draft dodger and move on. He will continue to display an astounding lack of humility, which is out of the norm in American history. The aura of a reality TV show emanating from the White House is designed to assuage the insecurities of the masses, much like the events in the Colosseum in the glory days of Rome.