We Need a Better Vision for America
 
  
Do we really need to flaunt our military power by a parade in the nation's capitol?    Senator Tammy Duckworth, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who lost both her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter she was piloting in Iraq in 2004, believes the idea to be ridiculous unnecessary show of bravado and a squandering of resources.  It evidences a "lack of judgement to think that this is appropriate."

Though military parades did mark the ends of the Civil, First and Second World Wars, and troops and missiles were part of the inaugural parades of John Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower, presidents' reviewing military parades is rare is U.S. history, ending with James Polk in the 1840s.  Glorifying brute, militaristic might is antithetical to the founding principles of our democracy that rightly placed the military at the people's service.

The desire to see tanks and missles paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue adds more evidence to the argument that -- despite his portrayal as a friend of the forgotten -- Donald Trump is out of touch with the needs of the vast majority of Americans.  He misunderstands what has made America great.

Unfortunately, congressional leaders -- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who could check this wayward president instead aid and abet him because it suits their own narrow, stark vision of what America could be.

Historian David Goldfield's book The Gifted Generation:  When Government Was Good explores the careers and legacies of three presidents who -- despite partisan differences -- had a deeper, richer vision for America.  Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson, according to Goldfield, understood government as a beneficial force, and they "believed in the commonwealth of ideal of mutual responsibility" or "a government that strenghtened indiviualism by promoting equal opportunities for all its citizens."

These three presidents were pioneers, sometimes admittedly flawed, in advancing civil rights and equality.  They worked to expand access to employment, education, housing, social services and health care, not to pander to a base, but because they believed, Goldman writes. "that the nation could not be whole until everyone had the opportunity to succeed.  They knew from personal experience that government was not only good but also necessary to address society's inequalites.

Given the current administration's program to abandon the middle class and poor, how else can the insistence to stage a grand, military parade be viewed as anything more than fiddling while the nation burns?

If having military parades like the ones in totalitarian states such as North Korea appeals to you then by all means join and support the Republican Party.  If, on the other hand, you believe we need a better vision for our nation, join usVote Democratic.