On the one hand, President Trump can have his military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on one condition:
That — instead of sitting on the reviewing stand like some kind of Emperor-In-Waiting — he (and Melania) lead the Parade — on foot.
They can march hand-in-hand in matching camouflage outfits: she with a flowing Dien Bien Phu-inspired camo cape, and subtly off-Afghan Desert-Tan knee-high stilettos.
And he can carry, in one hand (and with hers), a little American flag, and in the other, a blow-up of his deferments from Vietnam.
What was it, a pilonidal cyst? No … that was Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps then the-wife-kept-perpetually-pregnant opportunity? No … that was that other early 21st-century super-patriot, Dick Cheney.
Ahhhh … That’s right. “Bone spurs.” Our president-to-be avoided Vietnam because of bone spurs. Yeah … that’d do it. Or at least sufficiently did it back then, eh? At least for some folks, folks like him.
Maybe our reality TV superstar could at least feign a bit of a limp during his parade, if for nothing else than to show his adoring 40 percent how much he and his heels have suffered in the defense of “life, liberty, and (in his particular case), the pursuit of happiness.”
On the other hand, there’s a part of me left over and still festering from my time with the Office of the U.S. Army’s Inspector General that would love to see the response and reaction — from the Pentagon, the various joint, unified, and other variegated commands, and — above all — the commanders, staffs, leaders, and troops of those units who will actually have to get themselves and their individual and organizational gear ready for this goat-rope, march in it, and then recover from it (so as to be able to resume presumably actual, real (as in real-world), mission-essential, or at least -related, duties) — I would love to see the reaction and response of these folks when the balloon goes up for the Donald’s march on (and/or in) Washington.
On the other other, and final hand, there’s also a part of me (given to worst-case scenarios that I am) that can only wonder who else might show up for this parade? And, wouldn’t that be an interesting show in itself?
Wouldn’t that be a dandy way to see Washington, DC consumed in chaos (beyond what’s present on Capitol Hill)? Or — more ominously — having taken steps to prevent it? Either way, they would serve as provocative — indeed probably prescient — models for the future.
And either way, as well: the only people who could and would like either outcome are those who thought up this whole Trump military parade charlie-foxtrot in the first place. And those who own and operate them.
• Jeffrey Moebus is a 72-year old retired Army-type living in Sitka on the sailboat some friends and he brought up from San Francisco Bay six years ago this Summer. He spent two years in Viet Nam and two years in the pre-9/11 Middle East.