Trump Signals Strength to the World on July Fourth


The Western democratic globalist elite are atwitter over the fact that President Donald J. Trump is getting his Fourth of July military parade–with actual tanks!–in Washington, D.C. This is the first time in a long time that the nation’s capital has had a military parade (let alone with real, live tanks). Naturally, the democratic globalist elite are upset because it’s a show of nationalism and we Americans are supposed to hate our country because…we’re racist, chauvinist, capitalists–whatever.

According to some reports, the president was “inspired” to have his military parade after witnessing similar parades in authoritarian states, such as Russia, China, and…France! What is the one thing that unifies countries like Russia, China, and France? National pride. No matter what happens in these countries; no matter how many mistakes their respective governments may make throughout the years, the people are generally proud of their heritage. And, their militaries are a symbol of their national pride.

That might be too passé for the democratic globalist elite. But, it’s the truth. Sure, the same people who blow the taxpayer dime on wasteful Mideast wars, bloated, inefficient welfare states, and treadmills for shrimp (what?!) are now concerned about the reported cost of the president’s July Fourth parade. Don’t be fooled. They care little about cost. This is about dinging Trump on a national holiday.

For his part,. the president erred in not inviting any members of the Democratic National Committee as VIPs to his parade. After all, July Fourth is a national holiday meant to symbolize unity. Nevertheless, the so-called “experts” who decry the president’s military parade as “wasteful” neglect the fact that there are ephemeral reasons for conducting such a parade.

As the venerable Selena Zito has written recently:

Washington also serves as a destination point for Americans from across the country who often save up all year to bring their families to experience all of the history that has gone into forming this country. They visit both large and small museums; the U.S. Capitol; and the memorials honoring Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and the brave men and women who fought in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

The much-ballyhooed parade is as much for these people as it is anything else. Oh, and there’s another very important thing here as well: the world’s autocrats. The democratic globalists kvetch over the fact that Trump was inspired, at least partly, by autocratic leaders such as Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin (they ignore the fact that grand military parades in Washington, D.C. occurred going back to the Civil War era).

Trump’s Parade is a Public Diplomacy Victory Against the Autocrats

Elite opinion in the West is that the world is currently bifurcated between democracy versus autocracy. There certainly appears to be some truth in this claim, as autocratic powers, like China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, etc. move closer together to counter democratic powers, such as the United States. Vladimir Putin his argued that “liberalism is obsolete” and Xi Jinping believes that the United States can be defeated militarily. Meanwhile, smaller states, such as Turkey, clearly assume there is truth in these claims about the inherent weakness of democracy, as Ankara moves closer to the Sino-Russian entente in Eurasia.

This is important because, unlike other American presidents of late, Donald J. Trump speaks the language of the world’s autocrats. What’s more, he gets along with them! The American elites think this is a bad thing. Personally, I believe it is an asset. He understands them and is not mired in the high-brow theorizing and faux moralizing that pervades the detached democratic globalist elite in the United States. Right now, the United States is engaged in a quasi-cold war with Iran–with cyberwar occurring even as I type this out. China is moving to usurp America’s once-dominant position in the Asia-Pacific and Russia is making bold moves to destabilize America’s presence in Europe and the Middle East.

At every turn, the Trump Administration has, despite what his critics claim, stood strong in the face of increasing military threats. Yet, he has resisted calls to waste lives and resources in more endless wars. Trump comes off, whether he realizes it or not, as an offensive realist–which is the methodology of statecraft that world’s autocrats usually prefer. Seeing tanks rolling down Constitution Avenue, with beautifully choreographed marches from our nation’s finest military personnel, and the American president standing proudly on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial–with the hues of red, white, and blue fluttering in the glorious winds behind him–is not meant for the post-national democratic globalists.

Instead, this is imagery that is meant to convey strength to the world’s autocrats who, the elite keep saying, are unquestionably enemies of the United States. This is a fine example of public diplomacy: displaying American might and resolve in easily understandable ways to the parts of the world that seek to diminish and, potentially, destroy the United States. Some U.S. military personnel–both retired and active-duty–have understandably expressed skepticism about the president’s decision to allow for the extravagant parade. One MSNBC contributor claimed that it, in fact, demonstrated weakness.

Weakness is Provocative. Strength Deters.

It’s true, fellow democracies are likely looking at this parade and scratching their heads. That’s because the intended audience are not European and American elites. To the people and leaders in Russia, China, Iran, etc., this move on Trump’s part signifies tangible strength. For the ordinary American, also, it reinforces the narrative that ours is, in fact, a great country with a great history and a strong tradition of defending that greatness–at all costs.

So, the next time an MSNBC or CNN contributor starts whinging about the president’s wasteful parade, remember it’s not about them. It’s part of a larger move to deter potential adversaries.

As Donald Rumsfeld once said, “Weakness is provocative. Strength deters.”


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