I LOVE A PARADE
POPPING THE BIG TRUMP BALLOON*
National parades are a big deal all over the globe. So it only seems fitting that America, the self-proclaimed grandest nation on earth, should have the grandest parade. Competition is tough, with Russia, North Korea, Macy’s, France and China already in the mix. (I know that Macy’s isn’t a country, but don’t tell that to the thousands of kids across America who believe that it is.) Thankfully, America has a visionary leader with a vision of grandeur who sees the breathtaking beauty of the nation’s armaments on full display on the grand avenues of Washington, DC, pausing for effect in front of the great leader’s luxury hotel property.
There are, for sure, skeptics who see crap where the great leader sees glory. I am not one of those folks. I want the big parade. Imagine it, rolling tanks and missiles with armed jets overhead, maybe even a real nuclear warhead, playing out before an American audience of millions of flag-waving sycophants.
The show could go live around the globe bringing America’s might into living rooms, squalid huts, and mountain villages, showing those who have not yet seen our armaments up close just what they will look like when they do. Then just for global emphasis, we can remind those in bombed out city centers and refugee camps just what it was that got them there.
But I really want the big parade for another reason. I want to see the part of America that is aghast at Trump and his dangerous bombast throw an even bigger counter-parade. We can do it, we can show those flag-waving sycophants a mass of black, brown, and yellow humanity mixed in with a whole lot of white faces and pink hats.
We can have floats filled with America’s tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free in their own nation.** We can have sick children and crippled vets join our parade, maybe with a big dollar-sign barrier keeping them from doctors and nurses on the other end of the float. A huge homeless float would be good, looking like a bridge with folks in sleeping bags under the bridge. And, this parade would not be complete without whole marching bands of strung-out addicts and unemployed armed youth. For the kids, we can have a big balloon border wall float with Disney characters dressed like Mexicans easily climbing over and crawling under the balloon wall. You get the idea – a really big counter-parade for all the world to see.
Each parade has huge sponsorship potential. Since Macy’s is already taken, the armaments parade can be sponsored by the makers of testosterone supplements,*** nuclear warheads, and the ever-popular handguns and assault rifles, bump stocks, armor piercing bullets, and high capacity magazines. For the counter-parade, we could expect support from Planned Parenthood, the Mexican government, the Veterans Administration, the NAACP, and the Service Workers International Union, among others.
I know that many of you will be thinking that this whole parade idea is a waste of time and money, when there is so much more that could be done with the resources to meet real human needs. Surely I agree, but there could be some real beneficial fallout from these parades.
On the armaments front, every Defense Department resource that goes into parade planning and execution is a resource that is not planning for and executing humans. Since Trump will want a really big parade, this could be worth a lot of lives on the front lines. Also, there is a real possibility that some of our chosen enemies will take our military might more seriously when they actually see what we have. Photos of a nuclear warhead just don’t have the impact of actually seeing one on the move.
As for the counter-parade, using a parade to educate America’s uninformed masses might work much better than cable television, universities, and what passes for political debate. As everyone knows who has ever watched a big Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it is hard to turn off once you turn it on, no matter how little you care about big flying balloons and marching pilgrims. So maybe the counter parade could give those in need and the under-served in America a glitzy platform for entering the national psyche.
Also, if we do this right, people around the world who see the counter-parade via satellite might not want to come to America anymore, helping us solve our immigration problem. If nobody wants to come, we can leave our present dysfunctional system in place at little cost. So, for example, those young Norwegians who were clamoring to get to America to take care of rich white kids and see Justin Timberlake up close might be put off by the reality of gun violence, homeless people, and sick children in their midst, since they don’t have much of this in Norway.
America can probably survive as a nation without a new wave of Norwegians, but it is hard to see a functional future without the immigrants and the under-paid who serve America and Americans daily in medical services, childcare, landscaping, food services, education, law enforcement, and the military. A counter-parade to honor these folks and document their daily struggles is worth enduring the product of another Trump mind fart.
* In this instance, a rotund orange-topped white sack of thin skin filled with gas. But see, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balloon .
** Paraphrased from the Emma Lazarus sonnet engraved on a tablet within the US Statue of Liberty pedestal - https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/colossus.htm .