If Trump wants a military parade, he should pay for it himself

Trump can afford it. America shouldn't have to.

Trump salutes during a military parade
(Image credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

It is nice that President Trump likes France. Our Gallic friends and allies have made wonderful contributions to art, music, architecture, literature, and gastronomy. But like an American student who spent a semester in Paris and toured mostly the inside of wine bottles, Trump seems to have been impressed by the wrong thing during his visit last year: military parades. Not France's strong labor protections, generous family leave, or universal government-run health care, but French troops and tanks parading down Avenue des Champs-Elysees.

It's not fair to blame France for this — French President Emmanuel Macron also treated Trump to a romantic dinner in the Eiffel Tower, with the stated goal of saving the planet, and Trump has been musing about peacocking America's military might through Washington since before his inauguration. But France sealed the deal, and these visions of military grandeur took a turn from the comic to the tragic on Jan. 18 when, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, Trump ordered Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to start planning his very own parade.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.