4th of July

Trump's Militarized Fourth of July Parade Makes America Less Great

We're getting a military parade because Donald Trump wants one. The arguments for leaving our tanks at their bases are far more numerous, significant, and powerful.


Nationalism, political philosopher Isaiah Berlin observed, is the "inflamed desire of the insufficiently regarded" to prove their significance.

In his 1972 book The Crooked Timber of Humanity, Berlin wrote that nationalist fervor is a "pathological form of self-protective resistance," a victim mentality that serves as a sort of cultural coping mechanism, emerging from historical wounds or "collective humiliation."

It follows, then, that the United States would have little reason for such displays. For nearly a century—and certainly, for the past 30 years—America has been the exact opposite of "insufficiently regarded." There's no need to remind Americans, or the rest of the world, of that fact by parading tanks through Washington, D.C.

We've long left such vulgar displays of power to nations that feel the need to compensate for lacking what Americans enjoy—places like North Korea and the former Soviet Union. Or those that suffer from a pathological sense of victimhood and national inadequacy, like France. Instead, Americans celebrate the Fourth of July joyously with food and recreation. We don't wallow in our ability to destroy, or the fear that we could be destroyed.

But that will change Thursday, thanks to President Donald Trump—a man who seems to feel he is always insufficiently regarded, and who leads a conservative movement that increasingly exudes a victim mentality instead of embracing what makes America exceptional.

Showing off America's military might with a parade has been a priority for Trump ever since he witnessed a Bastille Day parade while visiting Paris in 2017. (Making America great again requires aping the French, apparently.) Earlier plans for a Veteran's Day parade were canceled over worries about cost and optics—marking Armistice Day with a celebration of weapons of war would have been horrifyingly ironic. Independence Day was selected as a suitable alternative.

Trump will preside over a partisan political rally on the National Mall later today, following a military parade through Washington, D.C., complete with tanks, flyovers by Air Force One and the Blue Angels, and military bands. Trump will be surrounded by military brass while it all goes down. "It will be the show of a lifetime," the president has promised.

It will certainly be memorable.

Nick Gillespie, Reason's editor at large, writes that "the urge to condemn the event as profoundly un-American…is understandable but ultimately misplaced." He says anyone getting bent out of shape over "Trump's vanity production on the Mall" is missing the fact that the president "routinely loses political and cultural battles."

He's right about the second half of that, but Trump's losses on other fronts—from the courts striking down his administration's attempt to politicize the Census to his inability to reshape global trade to his own liking—does not diminish the necessity of calling a military parade through Washington, D.C., what it is: un-American. (Though I do agree with Nick's optimism about other consequences of the Trump era, like the breaking down of old political alliances.)

Calling out Trump's nationalist excesses, after all, isn't really about stopping Trump from engaging in that behavior. He's going to do what he wants, clearly. It's more important to send a signal to whoever follows Trump into the White House that sending tanks rolling through the streets of an American city is not acceptable. As libertarians know well, the norms eroded by one administration are seldom restored or rebuilt by the next.

Yes, the Fourth of July is a commemoration of the fact that America, like many countries, was born in armed conflict. But subtle distinctions matter. The Founders rebelled against British rule in the name of freedom for the everyman (even if the reality of their times fell short of those lofty goals), not in pursuit of flexing their own militarized muscles. The "long train of abuses and usurpations" that Thomas Jefferson documented in the Declaration of Independence does not, notably, include a complaint about insufficient displays of military force on public holidays—not even on the most patriotic of them.

There is a key difference, of course, between patriotism and nationalism. But thanks to nearly two decades of war and mounting levels of national debt, America has developed a political culture that only stops being nihilistic in the moments when it goes full-on apocalyptic. That's not an environment where subtle distinctions between love for your country and love of the state can be parsed. I don't know how many Americans are incapable of drawing that distinction, but this Fourth of July will prove that our president cannot.

The parade will cost an estimated $10 million—a huge sum of money to anyone who isn't presiding over the federal budget, even if it is considerably less than the $92 million price tag originally attached to the event. But that's only an estimate, and the federal government is not releasing the actual figure. Obviously, it should. If the president is going to hijack a national holiday for what is ostensibly a political rally, taxpayers should know how much it cost. The parade will also require shutting down Reagan National Airport for security reasons. The tanks could damage D.C. streets, requiring expensive and annoying repairs.

It's fair to point out that Trump's Fourth of July parade is hardly the most pressing issue America faces on its 243rd birthday. Offhand, I'd say Trump's immigration policies, trade policies, and inability to get a handle on the national debt are doing more damage to America's reputation than any parade ever could.

Still, it matters. And it speaks to the political confusion of our current moment. As Berlin also noted, "nationalism does not necessarily and exclusively militate in favor of the ruling class. It animates revolts against it too." Once you let nationalism out of the bottle, in other words, it can be difficult to control.

That should be a warning for those on the right who are championing the merger of patriotism and nationalism. "Bad ideas can be hard to contain once they get going," notes Reason managing editor Stephanie Slade in the most recent edition of the magazine. The notion of "benign nationalism," she adds, quoting former National Review writer Jonah Goldberg, requires the first word of that phrase to do "an awful lot of work."

Tanks rolling through the streets don't make America great. Presidents cosplaying as third world authoritarians surrounded by generals don't make America great. If anything, they show the world that America is in decline. And an angry hegemon that feels the need to stand on its tiptoes in front of the mirror is not strong, but it can be dangerous.

NEXT: Justin Amash Declares Independence From Republican Party

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  1. Why do I have the feeling that if anyone but Trump were doing this, there would be much less rhetorical and philosophical powder being burned about it?

    1. I disagree. I think that a similar level of criticism would be leveled at President Obama, for example, if President Obama was calling for such a display, albeit with editorial observations of hypocrisy.
      Given that then Senator Obama was believed by many of his supporters (and detractors) to become a President who would deescalate or even end the wars that his predecessor had begun.

      Which reminds me of a part around the 1:40 mark in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKfuS6gfxPY&quot;this brief video.

      1. What garbage, if it was Obama the NYT and WaPo would dedicate entire editions to salute the forces, and the major networks would cover it like it was the Rose Bowl Parade.

        Also, if it was Obama, you and Boehm would be hailing the parade.

    2. Because you have at least two functioning brain cells? Of course if anybody but Trump were doing this there would be less pearl-clutching and retiring to the fainting couch, much, much less in the case of a Democrat doing it. Sure, it is disgustingly obscene to turn the observance of our Declaration of Independence into a celebration of the power of government, but the media turns remarkably incurious about such things when the Left is in charge. Hell, just look at their silence when Obama built literal concentration camps and dog kennels in which to put Undocumented American children and mercilessly rounded them up by the hundreds of thousands like he was dealing with a cockroach infestation. And don’t even get me started on how his signature achievement of Obamacare denied half the population of this great country any access whatsoever to healthcare by refusing to fully fund abortion-on-demand. Obviously Obama was every bit as racist and sexist as Trump but you never heard of that dark sinister side of his character.

      1. This article, and a lot of others, would be better served mentioning trump as a mere example but not as the subject as it not only polarizes people but makes them overlook the good of the message.

        1. Yeah, that is true. I enjoy an anti-Trump diatribe as much as the next guy, but decrying nationalism, along with all the other collectivisms out there, deserves its own article.

          1. I enjoy an anti-Trump diatribe as much as the next guy
            I don’t. It got old, fast. If you want to insult the man, at least try to be clever and subtle about it. It’s amazing that there are a lot of late night comedy shows “discussing” news topics, but all of them can’t write a fucking joke. Fucking impressive.

            1. Pedo Jeffy hates America, but loves foreigners who rape small children.

      2. The celebration of independent spirit is generally not found in our journalistic institutions. As has been pointed out many times, newsmen tend to love the power of the government (a requirement on the left), just not always the person currently wielding it. (Parade formation will always tickle the right.)

        I think the parade under a different president would be positively covered in the press, but Reason would likely put out an article decrying it no matter what, only perhaps with a different tone.

        1. The Lefty media hates to celebrate the Independence traditions that makes America great.

          Anything that reminds Americans to remain patriotic and loyal to American individualism is BAD!

      3. Hell, just look at their silence when Obama built literal concentration camps and dog kennels in which to put Undocumented American children and mercilessly rounded them up by the hundreds of thousands like he was dealing with a cockroach infestation. . . .
        Yes then to have these same cages dog kennels which was built by Obama’s CBP being displayed by the media that ignored them when they were first built and used but was now displayed all over the news and claimed that they were Trump’s creation.
        But there is a reason why the politicians are opposed to Trump’s 4th of July celebration are opposing the celebration of the military. These same politicians are also the same ones only begrudgingly allocate funds for the military and then only because they are afraid that they will loose the next election if they don’t fund the military at least to some degree. If given their preferences the democrats and progressives/liberals would have with the money that go to the military is to spend it on social programs most of which is only designed to improve the democrat candidate chance of reelection.

      4. “Of course if anybody but Trump were doing this there would be less pearl-clutching…”

        Everything Trump does is criticized and twisted to appear evil. He tries to make peace with North Korea and end a 69 year old war and he’s attacked for that. I think the parade is a stupid idea, but it doesn’t fill me with rage and vitriol. Nor does the $10 million price tag, to bitch about such a tiny number while we waste billions, and the Democrats want to spend trillions on free stuff, is pathetic and petty.

        There’s no honest discussion about Trump and his policies, it’s just angry hyperbole and personal attacks. Trump wants a parade and he’s the President so stop whining about it. It’s going to happen, if you (I’m referring to the author) don’t like it, don’t watch it. And don’t try to pass off your hatred for Trump as legitimate journalism when it’s obviously just another hit piece.

        1. +100

    3. The Lefty media can always be assured that Lefty politicians don’t want or know how to actually celebrate the Independence spirit of America.

      In other words, no Lefty politician would ever want to do a good “American parade”.

      Lefty politicians only know how to throw parades of military battalions and regiments with how “strong” their military is. See the USSR, China, Cuba, North Korea, and every other Socialist hell-hole.

    4. Why do I have the feeling that if anyone but Trump were doing this, there would be much less rhetorical and philosophical powder being burned about it?


      Because you may have noticed that Macron–whose parade got Trump all fired up for this– faces no wall of scorn about ‘militarism’ and ‘nationalism’. His parade received no scorn until lines like this could be crafted to further TDS–

      (Making America great again requires aping the French, apparently.)

      Which is astounding because this sentiment is, unironically, the usual stance of the people trying to use it to shame Trump.

      Clown world.

    5. Not at all. We saw a bit of Sturm und Drang when Clinton had a bit too much military presence at his inauguration.

      But we’ve never had a Soviet style military spectacle before. No, this one is not Soviet style, like Trump wanted. You can’t do that on a mere $10million budget. But you know damned well it’s what he wanted. To Trump the military is strength. To him it’s what America stands for. America is not about our ideals, it’s about its ability to project violence across the globe.

      The only reason the Republicans aren’t aghast at his antics is because they’ve declared fealty to him.

      If Obama had done this the Republicans would have shit themselves with rage. And rightfully so.

      We are not a military parade country. We honor a veterans, not our tanks. Out military participates in our parades, they are not themselves the parades. The VFW may lead the parade, but it’s local businesses and high school group and service organizations that follow them.

      1. We are not a military parade country.

        Nonsense. Go to the municipal library, pull up newspapers from WW2 on microfilm, and you’ll see plenty of them.

        1. Oh sure the propaganda effort in WW2 was enormous. Top Hollywood talent, cartoons, comic books, all of that.

          I am not at all saying it was wrong but it was totally professional. Ronnie Reagan made training films. Why? Because he was much more valuable doing that than carrying a shovel and a rifle.

          Look up captain America in WW2

      2. You are aware that after the first Gulf War, there was a military parade through the streets of Washington, DC? That was 1991, not some ancient past.

        You are also aware that almost every town or city near a military base has a military parade almost every year? Usually on the Fourth of July.

        Republicans aren’t “aghast” because they support the military, rather than hate it.

    6. I think the more basic question is, why should there be any criticism about a celebration on the 4th of July including tanks, fly overs, military parades, and, in the future, a real massive display? We, the American people are paying for the military; why is it somehow inappropriate for us to get a look at it? If our enemies around the globe get a look at what we have, perhaps they will decide they need to behave. They may decide they do not want to have the most powerful military in the history of the planet pay them a visit; and rain hellfire upon them.
      As to all the president’s enemies whining; I hope they continue. Let every person in America hear exactly what they believe, what they stand for, and what they plan if put in charge; if America chooses the democrats, we will get exactly what we deserve. If they choose republicans, well, we will get exactly what we deserve. It is our way; we get to choose.

      1. Tanks and fighter jets are cool. It’s fun for people to see them. Only counter tribalist and anarchists hate those things.

    7. JFK had a nuke on parade. “Liberals” loved it then and refuse to mention it now.

  2. This article uses a whole lot of words to say ‘Orange Man Bad.’

    1. That’s 50% of Reason nowadays.

      1. You’re being very generous

    2. Well he is bad but so but so are the rest of them.

  3. “How gauche,” says the Left.

    1. “Oh, it gauche pretty good with me! How gauche it with you?”

      “Go shit with YOU!?!? NEVER!!! You barbarian! How disgustingly gauche!”

  4. Drumpf’s America is literally a combination of Nazi Germany and The Handmaid’s Tale.

    1. how so, dullard?

      1. Because of the concentration camps at the border that don’t even provide illegal immigrants with free abortions!

        1. No human being is illegal. We Koch / Reason libertarians call them “undocumented Americans.”


          1. illegal in what sense, dullard?

          2. Anyone trespassing on another nations land is doing so illegally.
            You cannot have open borders and a welfare state because this inevitably leads to a bankrupt state.
            It is not the duty of America to feed the rest of the world and despite how rich America may be, it literally will never be able to afford to feed the entire world.
            Is it fair that Americans work hard and pay taxes just to see those taxes used to feed millions of people from other countries who have contributed absolutely nothing.
            You are an idiot if you honestly believe that any citizens of any country benefit from mass immigration of people who do not even share your values or customs.
            Many of these immigrants bring with them 3rd world diseases too. Diseases America has not experienced in generations and people like you would just allow them to march right in.

            1. I’m in the more-the-merrier crowd.
              Show an ID and don’t break any laws.

              1. I’m sure you’ll be posting your address any moment now

            2. Consider joining the LP and taking your case to the platform committee. Our 2016 platform included inspection on entry–not a bad thing with East Nile, Chukungunya, Dengue and Chupacabra fever now spreading in Southern states.

              1. West Nile virus.

                Humans are considered a dead end host.

                The virus has a mosquito avian life cycle. It can infect humans and other mammals although it cannot infect further from there.


              2. There is no such thing as a Chupucabra.

                There is no such thing as east nile virus.

                There is a West Nile virus and an eastern equine encephalovirus. They are not related.

                Dengue exists. It is transmitted by mosquito. 112 cases were reported in the US last year all of them travel associated.


          3. I call them illegal fucking aliens, but I’d rather call them “targets”

            But until we purge the pussies from government, we have to pretend they matter.

          4. Millions of people are illegal.


          5. rofl

    2. You mean straight white men are in charge? I’m good with it.

    3. And you are literally a retard.

      Trump is pro choice, pro Israel. That’s literally the exact opposite of the liberal Hitler fantasy and the liberal bondage fantasy.

  5. Charles M. Blow of the New York Times brilliantly summarizes the terrifying state of our nation.

    Let this sink in: There are tanks in the nation’s capital and concentration camps at its border. The drift to toward the unimaginable is unmistakable.

    I’m literally shaking right now.

    1. LOL Charles Blow is a Leftist race-baiting idiot just like you. Learn some history you fucking moron.

    2. may god……lol…you REALLY need to look up the term non sequitur, champ

      1. Just go ahead and sit the rest of this one out, chief

    3. Leave it to Blow and the NYT to make Trump seem like the mature side of this dispute. If you think about it, that’s really really hard to do, but Blow makes the impossible seem so effortless……..

  6. Trucking tanks around, fuel, torn-up pavement, overtime for police and soldiers… This ain’t chump change!

    Would it NOT be MUCH cheaper to design, build, and display a giant codpiece for Trump? Painted in patriotic red, white, and blue? AND “made in America”, to be sure!

    Heck, I’ll build one for the next time around, for a mere $3,510.00!!! If’n someone will guard and protect me and the codpiece-in-the-making, till I deliver it to the Trumpster… Guard me & “the piece” from the likes of Tulpa, that is, who will otherwise cum around, trying to stroke and suck the damned thing, before I am even done with it…

  7. A reminder that we’re in fact an empire. Republics should be built on peace, not military adulation. I don’t want to celebrate our military whose last successful and justified conflict was WWII. A lot of people died in vain including our countrymen and innocents. If we’re to have any public celebrations relating to the military, it should be ones of contemplation and remembrance. But, this battle was lost long ago.

    1. “Republics should be built on peace, not military adulation.”

      Dream on hippie, and when the acid wears off study a little history. This nation was born from military action to free ourselves from oppressive governance. There’s a Reason it’s called the War of Independence.

      1. Pro-tip, buddy: war and peace are not mutually exclusive–at least not among imperfect being such as us. I have no problem with fighting a war if it ensures a just peace. As I said, I think WWII was worth fighting, but I guess you stopped reading because of laziness. Also note I said “military adulation” and not just military conflicts. Again, do yourself a favor and read.
        I’d also like to point out the hilarity in having parades for cocksucking the hammer of an oppressive government.

        1. Pro tip dumb ass, you don’t get peace until your enemies decide to give it to you and you only have something because you or someone who is willing to act on your behalf is willing to kill to keep it.

          I would tell you to read history, but it is pretty clear it would be lost on you.

          1. How about don’t have enemies?

            1. What a Pollyandish retort. How do you not have enemies? Roll over and show your belly to everyone?

          2. you also get peace by not sending troops and planes and ships all over the world looking to provoke idiots into starting something.

            1. You want globalism?
              (Dont know if you do personally, it’s a rhetorical question)
              Because “sending troops and planes and ships all over the world looking to provoke idiots into starting something” goes hand in hand with globalism.

            2. Most the time we do that these days it’s not for ourselves.

      2. +100

      3. Yeah, like the Roman Republic?? Carthago delinda est

    2. Trump has done more to promote peace than the last 5 presidents combined. The Dems have become the party of war. Just look at the response Trump got when he decided he wanted to pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The left had the hissy fit of the century at the mere suggestion.
      Trump has achieved more to de-escalate the tensions on the Korean peninsular than every other president since the Vietnam war and still the leftist press vilify him.
      Trump is the first president in decades who has not started any foreign conflicts.
      He threatens Iran and the left scold him. He decided the destruction of a drone is not worth the lives of over 100 Iranian citizens and withdraws from attacking Iran and thereby starting yet another foreign conflict and the leftist media and the Dems yet again attack his decision.
      There is absolutely no decision that Trump will ever make that the left will not paint as ‘dangerous to the republic’.
      The Dems have become clowns. Caricatures of their former selves. They are undoubtedly the most divisive and dangerous collection of obstructionists America has ever had to endure.
      I fear America is heading toward another civil war which will tear the country apart.

      1. But the Kochs are teaming up with regime-change sponsoring, forced immigration promoting Soros to fund a think tank to figure out ways for global government to make peace…
        They’re the real pacifists

      2. “There is absolutely no decision that Trump will ever make that the left will not paint as ‘dangerous to the republic’.”

        The left thinks we’re a democracy. They don’t understand basic civics.

    3. yeah, the military worship has gone too far already. now we have a president who wants a military parade like a Soviet leader or a North Korean dictator, and libertarians think he’s cool.

      1. Eisenhower and Kennedy both had military vehicles in their inaugural parades.
        Inaugural, not Independence Day.
        Did you watch the speech?
        I’m guessing not.
        It was good, the part I saw at least with the flyovers, not bellicose at all.
        He praised sort of the highlights of each branch. Focus was on the tradition and service they’re built on.
        Maybe not great to the “fuck America, I only care about me and spit on everyone else” crowd, but (believe it or not) most Americans like our military and are proud of it. Most Americans like seeing badass shit.
        On the other hand, most potential foes dont like seeing the proud tradition of our military and its badass shit. Tends to give them pause when contemplating hostilities.

      2. “”now we have a president who wants a military parade like a Soviet leader or a North Korean dictator,””

        That does not match the reality of the parade that happened. I think you are a victim of the over hyper rhetoric Trump haters like to produce. I am not a Trump fan, but it’s obvious that haters like to make a mountain out of a molehill and then judge by the falsehood they created.

      3. JFK had a nuke on parade. What party was he again?

    4. A reminder that you have no fucking clue what an empire is.

      No nation pays us tribute. We even pay for the privilege of defending them.

      Then I realized it was Tony the Retard, Liberal Faggot Extraordinaire.

      Also, Korea and Vietnam were both started by Demorrhoids and ended by Republicans. So was the unnecessary US involvement in WWII that led to Pearl Harbor, after we attacked German shipping, and WWI, after we shipped war materiel to the Brits.

      You may recall your party was trying to force Trump to stay in Syria.

  8. There’s an ulterior motive. Trump wants even the New Yawk Times to admit this was the biggest crowd evah!

  9. NOTE TO REASON (and the “resistance” in general) Stop with the fatuous posturing, just STOP. You make yourself look foolish beyond all rationale with this kind of gross retardation.

    1. +100

    2. Trump is a political genius. He makes everyone opposing him act so completely irrational and idiotic

      1. It’s his super power.

      2. He doesn’t make them do anything, but he does provide them with the opportunity to show their true colors and capabilities

  10. It’s all a great visual reminder of how your tax dollars are wasted .

    1. While true, the unseen waste of tax dollars dwarfs this celebration of military member sacrifices.

      Its a win-win-win for Trump.
      1. Americans complain about wasting taxpayer money and demand Congress cut budget.
      2. Trump gets even more popular for actually liking the USA and really celebrating our Independence Day.
      3. Lefties have to attack members of the military in order to implement TDS with this Independence Day celebration. Democrats cannot just simply say America should cut budgets.

    2. Speaking of visual (and audio) reminders, why do we have fireworks on the 4th? Aren’t fireworks a mimicry of ‘the bombs bursting in air’ ?

      1. Of course it is.
        People need to be reminded that a lot of people died fighting for our rights.
        It’s very humbling.

        1. Speaking of fireworks on the 4th, aren’t they traditionally accompanied by the playing of the 1812 Overture? A commemoration of a military victory (in RUSSIA!!), whose score calls for the firing of actual cannons?

  11. …instead of embracing what makes America exceptional.

    I don’t think you’re allowed to have that phrase here.

  12. Boehm, I thought reason was sparing us propaganda until Monday July 8. Didn’t KMW say that?

    The USA has Fleet Week, local parades, air shows, military jet flyovers at sporting events, etc.

    While I think having a few Abram M-1 tanks and Bradley APCs in DC for a parade is a waste of money, Trump wants to celebrate American military service on Independence Day.

    I would rather have a President that actually likes the sacrifice our military members make and honor them a few times than politicians who despise our military members yet send them to die for endless wars.

    1. One could argue that this show is actually a cost-effective way to raise morale in the armed services.

  13. Crushed ’em, Boehm! Your pearls that is, by clutching soooo tightly.

    What a jackass.

  14. The tanks could damage D.C. streets, requiring expensive and annoying repairs.

    Muh Roadzzzz !

  15. Honestly who gives a shit? Imagine being the person who is really upset by this. Imagine being the person who is totally pumped for this! It’s stupid and trivial and not worth having an emotional reaction to.

    It’s like the wall. If you are pumped for the wall plan or outraged by the wall plan, either way you’re a sucker.

  16. Frankly, I think the goverment spending money on 4th of July celebrations or parades is a waste of money and outside government’s role, and as Boehm writes “the United States would have little reason for such displays”.

    Still calling this a “vulgar display”, that Trump “seems to feel he is always insufficiently regarded”, “leads a conservative movement that increasingly exudes a victim mentality instead of embracing what makes American exceptional”, that the parade is “un-American”, that Trump engages in “nationalist excesses”, that this is “flexing their own militarized muscles”, that “this Fourth of July will provide that our president cannot [distinguish between nationalism and patriotism]”, or that this is a “political rally” different from any other function with the President involved, IMHO is just Trump bashing. From what I’ve seen, Trump is staying within the bounds of the Constitution better than any president since Reagan (and probably better than Regan).

    Like Trump’s empty threats (to regulate speech, sue the press, but he’s done nothing), these attacks on Trump are lacking evidence to support them. Just consider the statement that the GOP is exhibiting a victim mentality, instead of embracing what made America great. Isn’t Trump’s campaign motto “MAGA” embracing what made America great? And how is one embracing a victim mentality, when Obama spied on his campaign? Trump is a victim; it was thrust upon him, and not something he embraced and wanted.

  17. “Trump’s Militarized Fourth of July Parade Makes America Less Great”

    I guess Boehm is highly susceptible to signaling on both sides? How embarrassing for him!

    The First Amendment makes us great.

    The Second Amendment makes us great.

    The good people who volunteer for military service make us great.

    Entrepreneurs make us great. Capitalism makes us great.

    Immigrants who come here, legally, with nothing, and work their asses off to make themselves a success of themselves and their families make us great.

    . . . but whether we have tanks and flyovers on the Fourth of July or just flyovers doesn’t really make a bit of difference one way or the other.

    1. This is all a huge ado about nothing. Would the money be better spend elsewhere? Sure. But you can say that about a huge component of federal spending.

      1. bevis….You had exactly my reaction. When I stop to think about all the different things costing ~25MM+ that the federal government just blows money away upon that is just utterly stupid….is a parade celebrating our country and it’s greatness really all that bad? This parade would be the ‘least worst’ of that lot (stupid government expenditure).

        I mean, c’mon citizens….arguing over a parade on the 4th of July? We should all eat, drink, be merry, and think about the many blessings we enjoy in this on-going experiment we call the United States of America. We are so lucky to be here.

        1. “We should all eat, drink, be merry, and think about the many blessings we enjoy in this on-going experiment we call the United States of America.”

          Which is exactly what the vast majority of Americans are going to do, while ignoring stupid shit like this “controversy”.

        2. I’d rather they didn’t spend my money as much as the next taxpayer, but tanks or no tanks on the Fourth isn’t what makes this country great or not great.

          The headline is ridiculous.

          It doesn’t even draw the reader in to the article. Why would I bother reading an article with such a ridiculous title?

          Oh, and all the “Trumpistas” out there are correct to wonder if the the only thing the author is really against is Trump. Doesn’t seem to matter what he does or doesn’t do–so much as that he’s the one who does or doesn’t do it. My grandfather used to say that my grandmother wasn’t really hard of hearing. She just wanted him to repeat everything so she could be sure to disagree with it. He was basically calling her out for Grandpa Derangement Syndrome.

          If you’re against ostentatious military displays on the Fourth of July, why not make the case without any reference to Trump? If making that case without any reference to Trump would completely defeat the whole purpose of the article, then everyone who accuses the author of TDS is right on point.

          1. Its Boehm.
            There nothing to wonder.
            He’s an inadequate hack

            1. I think it’s hilarious that Boehm switched to other types of articles after the DOW Jones rose to an all-time high today in after market trading.

              That douche tried to make very minor market corrections based on the DOW Jones industrial average seem like economic collapse. Not a single article about how strong the economy has become since Jan 2017.

              Boehm is such a hack.

        3. “”When I stop to think about all the different things costing ~25MM+ that the federal government just blows money away upon””

          25M? That’s around the cost of 10 NYC public bathrooms.

  18. Fuck that. I’ve never seen an Abrams in person and I’m driving down to DC specifically for this. It’s going to be awesome.

    These are incredible feats of engineering and people should get to see what their tax dollars are paying for.

    Where’s all the hand-wringing when an armada of warships steam into New York Harbor every year for Fleet Week?

    1. There is a flyover at almost every big SEC football game, and hundreds of sporting events each year

    2. Now imagine if Obama did it.

      Is that so much to ask, really?

      1. That’s what this whole exercise is about. No one would complain.

        That makes you and your ilk the reactionary hypocritical idiots.

        Kinda like when Obama had giant Betsy Ross flags at his 2nd inaugural 6 years ago

        1. Republicans would be shitting their pants at the prospect of the black man flopping around his military dick and wasting taxpayer dollars to do it. The point is he’d never engage in such a vulgarity.

          Kaepernick is a bit of a radical, but he’s not actually a more important issue than, say, climate change, which you people think is a myth, so what the fuck do your opinions matter?

          1. Your imagination is almost as retarded as your thinking.

          2. Um yeah, for the record, if Obama had parked a couple of Abrams tanks on the Great Lawn I’d have driven down to see those too. They were just as awesome during his term as they are now.

            Frankly it would have made me think better of him to show public support for the military like that, instead of acting like he’s embarrassed by it (while simultaneously using it just as much as his predecessors).

            1. Oh? Obama started a new war based on lies and killed 4,000 soldiers for no reason?

              President Bone Spurs does live the spectacle, and apparently you’re as shallow as he. How many dollars go to the VA in your budget?

              1. “U.S. military forces have been at war for all eight years of Obama’s tenure, the first two-term president with that distinction. He launched airstrikes or military raids in at least seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan”


                To say nothing of his continued prosecution of the war on drugs.

                Who decided your preferred standards were the ones that matter? They’re not the ones Obama promised. So even he expected more of himself than you do. Lowering expectations just because he’s blackis pretty gross and racist.

                1. I never said I think the best policy is no troops anywhere in the world. But Bush did start it. He did start that one. That includes the chaos in Libya everyone oh-so-intellectually-honestly wants to make Obama’s equivalent to Iraq.

                  1. And I never said you said that.

                    Now that we’ve both established what you didn’t say, can we get back to answering my question about what you did say?

                  2. Actually the chaos in Libya was all on the Obama-Clinton combo.
                    It grew from the Arab Spring, which the administration stoked – to the point of flying in potential activists from Egypt to teach them techniques for online activism.
                    Then they jumped aboard western Europe sabre rattling and, perhaps Clinton more than Obama, pushed regime change. They then used Libya as a base to send RPGs to “modetate” rebels in Syria before walking away from the mess.
                    For all other I’ll effects it might’ve had, the Iraq invasion worked to convince Qaddafi to turn his WMDs over to the US (they’re in Tennessee now) and actively aid with Intel sharing about terrorist groups.
                    The Libya operation may prove to be the greatest foreign policy blunder since World War I

      2. I’d be shocked if obama showed actual pride in the country and applaud him for it. Instead he wasted millions on private White House concerts for him and his closest donors.

        1. That you can say this with a straight face must mean the horsecreap dregs of rightwing media from which you get what you think is information doesn’t cover anything about Mar-a-Lago, the DC hotel, the golf courses, and all the many, many other of Trump’s likely illegal bits of exclusive access and profiting. Why the fuck did you say that? How sad is this world that you think this is a valid comparison?

          Do you think this man cares about the common people? Do you think he goes home and ruminates on the intellectual heft of his followers? What, the fuck, is wrong with you idiots?

          1. I look forward to your hemorrhagic stroke.

            1. Are you suggesting the answer to my question “what the fuck is wrong with you idiots” is violent psychopathy?

              1. No, just watching you push up your blood pressure with your own blind rage.

    3. FYI: If you are interested in the M-1 Abrams tanks.

      Read about its development history. Fascinating stuff.

      It was decades ahead of all other tanks of the time and was designed to last the USA for decades and provide unheard of crew protection. It did have development and cost overruns early and was almost cancelled.

      We have lost so few M-1 Abram tanks in combat that other countries copied many features of the tank. Even the feared RPG is not a guaranteed tank killer when it comes to the M-1. The USSR planned to wipe out all NATO tanks with the T-series of tanks left on the battlefield and RPGs. Turns out the T-series tanks are junk and RPGs are not as effective against Chobham/composite armor.

      1. more interested in the “brand new” Sherman tanks.

        1. “We have to put them in certain areas but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abram tanks,” Trump said, according to a pool report.

          “You know we’re making a lot of new tanks right now. We’re building a lot of new tanks in Lima, Ohio – our great tank factory that people wanted to close down until I got elected and I stopped it from being closed down, and now it’s a very productive facility and they do, nobody’s the greatest tank in the world.”

          As in the “best” tank in the World? Just like the Sherman being the “best” tank for the USA, so is the M-1 and is built in the USA.

          Lefties crack me up as if nobody understands how obvious the badly spun propaganda is.

          1. Sorry, “greatest” was used.

  19. Someone should tell Trump about the Miramar Air Show in San Diego. This is one of the military’s big PR events. The show off their planes, boats, artillery, armor, … The pilots and people who use this stuff are right there to talk to. Everyone is very polite and interesting, with the “Yeah, this is bad ass” look in the eyes. And it’s mostly free admission and (reportedly) pays for itself.
    The best part? Unlike a parade down DC streets, it doesn’t affect your life at all if you don’t give a rat’s ass about it.

  20. I’m not buying any of the fake outrage. After all, the same class of brain dead useful idiots just rushed to declare the Original American flag a racist symbol of hate, without bothering to examine or explain why. Once the outrage purchase order goes out, there are too many rushing to fulfill it. All because ORANGE MAN BAD, and Overrated Woke QB good

    I guess if not minding parades and liking the original flag makes me a Nationalist, I will gladly accept the label

  21. No one likes party poopers.

  22. So Isaiah Berlin agrees with Tokyo Rose regarding American nationalism.

  23. There’s no point in getting upset about this, as it will almost certainly be a farce.

    Trump is giddy about this. The only time he doesn’t create a farce is when he reads from a teleprompter like he’s half stroked-out.

    This will be pure entertainment. That’s a lot of fucking grass to fill in the most liberal city in America.

  24. I’m just satisfied Trump’s parading them rather than deploying them as other presidents tend to.

    1. I’d scream like a chimp if various models of UAVs did a fly-by.

  25. Military hardware in a parade is cool as shit.
    When we were young, our town parade had M113 APCs shoot blanks at the crowd with the mounted MGs 😀

  26. I watched the Bastille Day parade in Paris.
    With all those sick armored fighting vehicles and leggy French bitches I blew my load multiple times in my pants.

  27. Gee.

    Every local 4th of July parade I remember has featured armored vehicles from the local National Guard guard armory and military aircraft flyovers.

    To me, that’s usual.

    1. That is because you are a normal human being with normal experiences and not some brain dead hipster who lives inside the prog fart bubble like Eric.

      Dear Eric,

      Learn to code.

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  29. Having the military in a parade doesn’t make it a military parade. A lot if straight people walked in Pride parades but that didn’t make them straight parades did it?

  30. unless we plan to attack the forts surrounding Liege, Belgium..this is not a big deal

  31. I hate parades.

  32. Trump should let the Dems corner the market on acting like Communists.

    1. Damn, dude – you’re super butthurt

  33. Did you put on clown makeup before you wrote this?

    Don’t you guys understand yet? Trump is trolling you people into saying stupid stuff like this. I can’t believe you keep taking the bait, but every time you do, you show Americans who you really are and remind them why they don’t want people with your sensibilities in charge of things.

    For writers at a so-called libertarian magazine, you guys sure spend a lot of time pearl-clutching.

    1. Shhh…not pearls but….jewels…as in family.

  34. Remember when you guys were triggered by Obama’s Greek columns?

    1. Remember when you had anything worthwhile to contribute?
      neither do I

      1. Remember when libertarians were something other than Republican cock fondlers? Me either.

  35. So many anti Trump of Media spinners started attacking the ideas of Tanks painting their own pictures of what the celebration would be. Turned out it was not really any of those things.

    So many claim to see Trump as some cause when in fact he is the result of half the population of the US desire to see a change in all the areas Trump is aggressively affecting. I wish more was addressed to the real reason John Adams thought the day should be so celebrated. However to understand that context one must also understand history and the real state of Individual Liberty in a 1700 world. Quick note; it was not much. Here is Adams thoughts on how to celebrate.
    “The date will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
    John Adams

  36. Oh, snap, the bozos hitting on Trump over his military parade missed some encounters of the 3rd kind today. For example, what kind of music was played at baseball games today…martial military music. What kind of units are usually in 4th of July parades? Bingo! Military! This sudden death grip reaction to Gasp! finding that the 4th of July fireworks are so bad for your health just because of Bang! power and all the crooners better stop singing America the Beautiful with this horrible parade strutting around. So goes the miserable pratfalls of the Progs who feed like hogs on anti-American pulpits brimming with their feckless antics.

  37. Even with the propagandists trying to say that this parade would be “rained out”, the light rain storms didn’t deter people from coming out to view the event.

    Even the media grudgingly admitted it might have been popular with everyday Americans.

  38. Presidents on July 4: Some chill, some get in your face

    1798: Now president, John Adams reviews a military parade in Philadelphia as the young nation flexes its muscle.
    1826: Adams, the second president, and Jefferson, the third, both die on this July 4.

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  40. Not to confuse the issues with the facts, but there was NO “militarized 4th of July parade.”

    The pretty much standard national 4th of July parade down Constitution Avenue took place as usual. The third marching unit (after the DC police color guard and the DC police cadets) consisted of a detachment of the Army Band, a typical color guard and small supporting units from the US Armed Services, in correct protocol order of course (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard), with the Army Fife and Drum Corps bringing up the rear . Its pass time was about 2 min 35 sec. compared to a total parade pass time of about 70 minutes. Hardly “militarized.”

    I thought Trump’s event on the steps of the Lincoln memorial was underwhelming. The speech was ho-hum and lacked a coherent theme, the fly-bys seemed like they were mailed-in, and I think we saw more footage of the arrival of the tanks on the railcars than we saw of them at the actual event.

    What is hilarious about this whole thing is that all of a sudden, the mainstream media discovered budgetary religion and did plenty of hand-wringing over the price tag of the Trump display, even though the cost represented about 9 to 19 seconds of the federal FY 19 budget, depending upon whose cost estimate you use.

    All in all, “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

    1. “”and I think we saw more footage of the arrival of the tanks on the railcars than we saw of them at the actual event”‘

      The arrival of tanks is easy to spin as an example of how much of a militaristic parade it’s going to be so some people can shake their fists in anger at it. The actual event did not represent that narrative.

  41. Don’t blame me. I vote Libertarian and support our pro-choice, non-aggression candidates every way I know how.

    1. Yes, the parade was about abortion. You are truly diseased

  42. Google pix of FDR’s, Eisenhower’s, JFK’s inaugural parades.

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