Yesterday the Washington Post reported that President-elect Donald Trump is contemplating having military parades in the streets of America. Yeah, military parades. You know, like the kind that North Korea's leader, and every other tin-pot dictator who's walked the earth, like to have because it makes them feel strong.
Those of you who voted for Donald Trump will no doubt buy into his rationale that we need to be proud of our military. This, he argues, we can only do if we show it off.
So, whatever happened to "walk softly but carry a big stick"?
Somehow saying "carry a big stick because I'm proud of my big stick ... and let's make lots of noise so everyone sees my big stick" says much more than Donald Trump, or his supporters, will ever admit.
The worst part of Donald Trump's "pride in the military" faux rationale is that it's coming from a man who got 5 deferments to avoid getting drafted during the Vietnam war (and, no, attending the New York Military Academy, so Trump could play soldier, doesn't count as military experience, or training).
Simply put, Donald Trump's suggestion to parade our military in the streets signals a real threat to America's future. It's what weak minded and narcissistic dictators resort to when their legitimacy is questioned, and when their ideas and self-esteem need help.
The trappings of military might, and thoughts of the glories of war, give dictators a sense of strength they can't get from other areas in their lives. Controlling men who possess guns, and state-sanctioned power to kill, is what gives them a sense of value. When political credibility is lacking it's delusions of military grandeur that create a sense of worth and bravery.
But it's all an illusion.
We all know about Donald Trump's campaign threats to investigate and jail Hillary Clinton. This compelled George W. Bush's secretary of Homeland Security to comment that Trump's threat was something "tin-pot dictators" do.
Sadly, it's not just threatening to jail a political foe that's transformed Donald Trump into a wannabe tin-pot dictator. It's his other reckless ideas, like busting up NATO because Russia doesn't like it. It's his secretary of state nominees' claim that we will challenge China in the South China Sea. And it's Trump's belief that nuclear proliferation in Asia might not be a bad idea (look, rearming Japan is akin to giving a recovering alcoholic a drink).
I don't know about anyone else, but Donald Trump's flippant parade suggestion, combined with his desultory worldview, brings to mind "The Parade of the Tin Soldier" (Парад оловянных солдатиков), which you can access courtesy of Russian Records (seriously) by clicking here.
Hat tip to Agulia for the "military parade" article.