by Steve Rogers
It’s funny how the same people who are furious with President Trump for inviting our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to be honored on the National Mall this Independence Day seem to be just as upset that he didn’t send our troops into harm’s way in some far-flung corner of the world.
There’s nothing remotely “un-American” about a military parade like the one our Commander-in-Chief is planning as part of a July 4th “Salute to America,” along with a host of other tributes to our military. We’ve had them for centuries, especially around the Independence Day holiday. Remember, there never could have been a Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, if there hadn’t been a Continental Army, founded almost exactly a year earlier.
In fact, that army’s commander-in-chief, George Washington, would lead about 500 of the same men who fought with him during the Revolution in a parade through New York City as he occupied the same public office that Donald Trump now occupies.
If there were liberals and detractors condemning that parade as “un-American,” that fact went unrecorded by history.
The best part about military parades — even more uplifting than the triumphal pageantry, rich traditions, and the opportunity to honor those who volunteer to serve our great republic — is that they almost always happen in peace!
This Independence Day salute — complete with an Army drill team display, a Blue Angels flight demonstration, military bands, and more — is not a farewell to departing conquerors, but rather a celebration of the professionalism and patriotism of our men and women in uniform.
But because Donald Trump is the President, and not a Democrat like Barack Obama or a neoconservative Republican like George W. Bush, some commentators are making some very bad, very disingenuous arguments about how President Trump is “hijacking the Fourth of July.”
Take Bill Kristol, one of the most notorious warmongers in recent history. He has been whining about the prospect of a military parade in Washington for more than a year.
Where does Bill Kristol think American troops should be, since he doesn’t want them celebrating their country’s anniversary with the American people in our nation’s capital?
If Kristol had his way, they’d be in the skies over Iran, risking their lives to avenge the tragic loss of an unmanned reconnaissance drone — they might even be on the ground, waging a ground war against a country of 80 million people.
In the minds of these parade-haters, President Trump is a militaristic madman because he wants to show off the pride of America’s armed forces, even though he hasn’t started any wars, and in fact has demonstrated remarkable restraint on the foreign policy front. Their argument is almost too silly to take seriously, but they all appear to be earnest.
It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that the other argument trotted out by Donald Trump’s enemies in the liberal press — who can be counted on to gush over every “free” government program that costs trillions of dollars — is that a parade might cost “millions.”
They provide no hard figures of course, and every year’s Independence Day celebrations on the Mall cost “millions.” Few of these critics, in their rush to whine about tanks, mention the private donations that will give Washington the biggest fireworks show the town has ever seen.
This Commander-in-Chief loves our fighting men and women, and has been loathe to put any of them in harm’s way as he has skillfully manages to promote peace across the globe.
Despite all the caterwauling about President Trump’s “Salute to America,” in the end, it’s their loss if they don’t want to come and watch. It’s going to be a great show, and I wouldn’t miss it for all the oil in Iran.
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Steven Rogers is a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer and a former member of the FBI National Joint Terrorism Task Force. He is a member of the Donald J. Trump for President 2020 Campaign Advisory Board.