Instead of honoring the troops, Donald Trump wants them to honor him — by spending tens of millions to soothe his fragile ego by forcing troops to march by saluting.
According to recent reports, the Pentagon has already begun laying down plans for a giant, expensive military parade through Washington under direct orders from the aspiring dictator in the White House. Trump apparently wants to use the troops as partisan, political props in a massive #TrumpParade through the streets of our capital city so he can play dictator for a day.
Congress has the oversight and funding power to put a stop to this — but Trump will quickly brand any opposition as treasonous, so we need to create a massive public backlash against using troops as props in his #TrumpParade.
The early backlash is already having an impact. The Pentagon and secretary of defense are equivocating on the cost and location of the parade, a handful of legislators of both parties have criticized the idea and Democrats Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Marc Veasey have introduced legislation to stop it. We need to continue speaking out to block this idea once and for all.
Trump does not care about the military or veterans. His deportation task force at ICE consistently rounds up and deports veterans who have served in the military. He spent his campaign attacking prisoners of wars and Gold Star parents. This parade is all about an increasingly unpopular Trump exploiting troops for his own gain. Dictators around the world use parades like these to try to scare enemies and intimidate their own citizens.
Here are a few ways we could actually honor the women and men who serve our country in uniform:
- Putting a stop to deportations
- Ending the brinkmanship with countries like North Korea and Iran that risks military conflict
- Not sending them into harm’s way for needless wars like in Iraq
- Funding strong diplomacy so the military doesn’t need to shoulder the burden of every international flash point
- Paying rank-and-file soldiers better so that no military family lives in poverty
- Refusing to tolerate bigoted, transphobic barriers to service
- Reining in sky-high defense spending that helps war profiteering corporations instead of enlisted troops
- Spending money on aid to Puerto Rico, eliminating college debt, and providing healthcare or a thousand other ways to strengthen the country troops are willing to die to protect.
A parade honoring Trump is nowhere on that list. We cannot let Trump exploit American women and men in uniform to advance his own agenda.
The #TrumpParade would also cost millions of dollars at a time when Trump insists the military needs more money and his lapdog Republicans in Congress claim we cannot afford health care for children. The truth is that the military has enough money already for a dozen parades — and that money would be far better spent on schools, health care, infrastructure, diplomatic efforts, aid to Puerto Rico or a dozen other public works projects that would make America stronger as well as safer.
Trump and Trump Republicans will claim anyone who opposes this measure opposes the troops. Some Democrats have already bravely spoken out, but others are too silent. We need to make sure Democrats see the public backlash and have the courage to oppose Trump’s dictator parade and force Republicans once again to side with Americans or with Trump.
Originally published at act.credoaction.com.