‘We think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.’
The American Legion has come out against President Donald Trump’s plans to hold a military parade in Washington, Time reports.
Initially, the parade had been planned for November, but it has been postponed until at least 2019. The announcement came after it was leaked to the press that the parade could cost $92 million total, which is $80 million more than initially estimated.
As the Inquisitr reported, the parade was initially estimated to cost $12 million. However, a U.S. defense official briefed on the matter leaked the new estimate to the press yesterday, and a Pentagon spokesman confirmed the information. Backlash soon followed.
Almost immediately, Donald Trump took to Twitter, shifting the blame to local politicians, who, according to the president, “wanted a number so ridiculously high” that he had no option but to cancel the parade. Muriel Bowser, Washington, D.C., Mayor, promptly responded to the president, tweeting that she “finally got thru [sic] the reality star in the White House with the realities ($21.6M) of parades/events/demonstrations in Trump America.”
The American Legion, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization and America’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has joined the long list of Donald Trump’s critics, arguing that the parade money would be better spent on veterans, at least until all troops return home.
In a statement supplied to Time, the American Legion said the following.
“The American Legion appreciates that our president wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops. However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”
There are still 15,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and thousands more in Iraq, Time noted.
While Donald Trump may have blamed local politicians for wanting a “ridiculously high” number after being asked to give a price for holding the parade, many have criticized the president as soon as the parade was announced, calling it essentially a vanity fair and an “expression of narcissism.”
In an op-ed for the American Conservative, historian Andrew J. Bacevich argued that parades — although a waste of time and money, according to Bacevich — are thrown to celebrate victories, and not to cater to Donald Trump’s “narcissism.”
Chris Cillizza, CNN editor-at-large, argued that Trump’s military parade has been a bad idea since the president first conceived of it. After widespread backlash, President Trump resorted to blaming the local government — in the overwhelmingly Democratic Washington, D.C. — in order to get out of the situation and pander to his voter base, Cillizza concluded.
Source: Read Full Article