Markets are careening all over the place. Congress is struggling, again, to keep the Capitol open. The White House is at war with the FBI, and the special counsel’s investigation into Russian influence is about to touch off a
Not just any parade. What President Trump
Actually, Trump got this particular idea in Paris back in July, when
Critics of the president see in this the aspirations of a strongman. They point out that the whole thing has a certain Kim Jong Un feel to it, with Trump and his ruling generals solemnly reviewing the troops as they high-kick it past the White House. It’s a show of force that could only be interpreted as threatening toward adversaries abroad, if not to the investigators working a few miles away.
But I give Trump more credit than that. I don’t actually think he’s motivated by some secret agenda to install himself as a small-handed dictator. I doubt he’s read enough history to understand why a parade like this might make a lot of thinking people nauseous.
No, I think Trump’s real agenda is getting clearer every day, and his silly parade fits in perfectly. His goal is to govern at the dawn of the Cold War, in the 1950s America he knew as a boy, when it wasn’t so uncommon for presidents to march alongside tanks and batteries.
He’s stuck in a moment most Americans can’t remember, and he wants the rest of us stuck there with him.
You can see it in Trump’s approach to foreign policy generally. A year into office, he’s moving to restart the nuclear
Trump’s personal taunting of the North Korean leader, his boast about the superior size of his “nuclear button,” brings to mind America’s bygone fixation with Khrushchev or Castro. All that’s missing is the black-and-white TV.
About the only way Trump’s foreign policy isn’t lifted directly from the Cold War is that he just can’t summon any real antipathy for the Russians, no matter how menacing they become. Go figure.
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