President Donald Trump mused over the idea of hosting a military parade on the Fourth of July in Washington, DC after he was inspired by one he saw on France's Bastille Day. He pitched the idea to French President Emmanuel Macron, saying that he thought the Bastille Day parade was an impressive display of France's military.
In remarks during a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France at the United Nations, Mr. Trump said he got the idea after watching the Bastille Day parade in Paris with Mr. Macron in July. During the parade, he could be seen gesticulating and whispering to Mr. Macron at the elaborate display of tanks, soldiers on horseback and military jets flying overhead.
“I came back and one of my early calls were, I think we are going to have to start looking at that ourselves,” the president told Mr. Macron. “We are actually thinking about Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength.”
The last time the United States had any sort of military parade was in 1991. During the Cold War, the practice was avoided as it was feared that it would look like the U.S. was mimicking the Soviet Union. Trump hoped to have military vehicles in his Inauguration Day parade, but this plan never came to fruition. The planned military fly-overs were canceled on Inauguration Day due to poor weather.
Over on Twitter, many took the suggestion of a military parade as a sign that Trump was morphing into a dictator:
Trump just said he wants to have a military parade down Pennsylvania Ave. on July 4.— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) September 18, 2017
There's precedent for that... ?? pic.twitter.com/pctEqDn0WK
Trump wanting a military parade down Pennsylvania Ave on the 4th of July speaks volumes. Our military is not for your entertainment fun bozo— SAM6 (@travelong6) September 18, 2017
Filed under: Authoritarianism Watch. https://t.co/plOiDRsnc4— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) September 18, 2017
President Trump Just Said He's Planning A Military Parade For July 4th-Trump is rocking that Dictator To-Do list https://t.co/9Obwp2fO8A— Frangela (@frangeladuo) September 19, 2017
TRUMP SAYS THINKING OF HOLDING JULY 4 MILITARY PARADE IN D.C.— Jeff Lewis (@ChicagoPhotoSho) September 18, 2017
wants to be like his buddy Kim
This is, of course, nonsense. Plenty of non-authoritarian states have military parades, including the United States in the past. Whether or not this will actually happen again in the United States remains to be seen, but let's calm down with accusing Trump of being a dictator.