It was President Teddy Roosevelt who coined the phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick”. It was shorthand for what has been America’s traditional foreign policy of diplomacy first, backed by the most powerful military force the world has ever known.

I wonder what our 26th President would think of our 45th President’s idea to put that big stick on parade.

The President got the idea after attending France’s Bastille Day parade, which commemorates the people's uprising against the French monarchy. America has held military parades before, but they’ve been used to commemorate the end of conflict and a return to peacetime, and not as a show of force as President Trump intends.

Who does military parades to project force? Russia does them. So does China.

They’re tools of their authoritarian leaders like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, whom the President likes to taunt as “Little Rocket Man.”

Now, Mr. Trump apparently feels the need to compare the size of his rockets.

Conservative Republican John Kennedy of Louisiana said of the President’s plans, confidence is silent and insecurity is loud. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham summed it up by saying such a parade is not only cheesy but "shows weakness.”

They’re both right. The White House estimates such a parade would cost up to $30 million.

Here’s an idea, why don’t we use that money instead to equip our special forces with the gear they need, instead of forcing them to spend their own money on clothing and equipment to protect themselves in the field. Or why not put the money toward veteran housing and health care.

You know, things that actually matter to the military.

Whatever the President is compensating for, I suggest we just give him a pit bull and a Hummer and be done with it. And yes, I know those are just clichés about male insecurity, but no more so than the idea of a military parade.

This is not a conservative versus liberal issue. It’s about who we are as Americans. Nobody understands that more than the men and women of our Armed Forces who must serve at the President’s command but should not be forced to march for his pleasure.

John's opinions are his own and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.

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