TUCSON – The old saw, monkey-see-monkey-do, is hard to avoid as Donald Trump plans to ape France’s Bastille Day parade. He misconstrues that Gallic clash of cymbals, showing a worried world what sort of chest-thumping primate now occupies the White House.
July 14, 1789, was when peasants with pitchforks -- the 99 percent -- stuck it to a greedy ruling class. The modern parade celebrates 1945 when allies helped France drive off a despot who thought not cheering at his speeches was treason.
“We have to try and do better,” Trump told aides, seeking a personal not-cheap thrill and totally missing the point. America hardly needs to flaunt armed forces that cost $642.9 billion in 2017, equal to the next 13 countries’ budgets, and will increase by $54 billion.
Spines tingle each year in Paris at the opening flourish: Three jets swoop low and close over the Champs-Elysées trailing blue, white and red smoke. Tanks chew up pavement, and missiles roll by. But hardware is not the point.
Crowds love gendarmes in red-plumed gleaming silver helmets on spirited horses in syncopated step: a Republican Guard that protects democrats. They cheer as Foreign Legion Pioneers, in beards and buffalo leather aprons, stride past armed only with polished axes.
Trump is no Hitler, but his laughably transparent Big Lie convinces a substantial hardcore. Few who profit from his exclusionary policies are fooled, just silent. He is not about Fatherland über alles, only his gargantuan ego. Think Mussolini. And imagine if Il Duce had had that big red button on his desk.
READ MORERead More