Speaking today with French President Emmanuel Macron and other high-ranking officials, President Trump revealed that he thought the military parade in Paris was “tremendous.” He added that he thinks the parade was good for the “spirit of France,” and wants to do the same thing in Washington D.C. on the Fourth of July.
President Trump has been keen for some time to establish more gaudy public displays of American military might, having pushed for military vehicles to participate in his inauguration. Now, he says he wants the US military to “come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue” and suggested there would be major shows in both DC and New York City.
France’s parade was something special, as it was the 100th Bastille Day. President Trump said he intends to speak with White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, and that his goal would be to “try to top” France with America’s own parades.
Despite spending more on their military than anyone else in the world, the US has rarely indulged in high-profile public military parades, instead favoring civilian parades with limited military participation. Indeed, historically the US has scorned the large military parades in nations like North Korea as signs of a childish nation obsessed with its own sense of military might.
It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that President Trump would be so keen on organizing such parades, as he’s seen both fascinated by America’s military might and eager to prove America’s greatness in the least-subtle ways possible.