SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Graham: Trump parade is cheesy, shows weakness

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) responds to President Trump's request for a military parade, telling CNN's Manu Raju it's "cheesy and shows weakness."

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 11:20 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 11:20 AM

"I want a parade like the one in France," President Donald Trump reportedly said to a military official, who passed that information on to The Washington Post.

Trump had been the guest of French President Emmanuel Macron on Bastille Day in July 2017, and after attending the parade he enthusiastically exclaimed that it was "one of the greatest parades" he'd ever seen. And so, he wanted to preside over an equally spectacular one in Washington -- not unlike a 7-year-old who wants his birthday party to be as big and elaborate as his friend's. It would cost millions of dollars in citizens' hard-earned tax money (money that could go instead to veterans' hospitals), and military officials said they were unsure how to pay for it.

And yet, it wouldn't be the first grand military parade in Washington. There was one in January 1941, for example, after Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration to an unprecedented third term in office. That past spring all the European democracies, with the exception of Great Britain, had fallen to the relentless Nazi forces, and in Asia, Japan had extended its reach into China.

It was a year before Pearl Harbor, and the nation was not yet at war, but FDR knew he would have to educate Americans and convince them and Congress that the nation must nevertheless be prepared and mobilized for war. He decided a military parade would be a dramatic display of the nation's willingness to fight to preserve its way of life and its determination to protect Great Britain from the Nazi onslaught.

And so, after his inaugural address, a grand military parade took place.

First came a platoon of Washington motorcycle police, and behind them rode Gen. George C. Marshall, the Army chief of staff, on horseback. Then came military bands, units from the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, along with West Point cadets and Annapolis midshipmen. They were followed by scout cars, motorcycles, trucks with anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns, field guns and cannons. Military planes soared in formation overhead.

But more enduring and less expensive was FDR's brief inaugural address before that military extravaganza. In his speech, he explained that a nation was like a person; it had a physical, intellectual and spiritual life. Its body must be clothed, fed and housed and its mind kept informed and alert. But a nation, "like a person," he said, "has something deeper, something more permanent, something larger than the sum of all its parts." No single word could name it, "and yet we all understand what it is."

For the United States it was something he called "the democratic aspiration," a living faith, a quasi-divine purpose in national life, an ongoing quest for freedom, justice, equality, happiness. If that "spirit of America" were killed, "even though the nation's body and mind, constricted in an alien world, lived on, the America we know would have perished."

He believed that in the months and years ahead, under the threat posed by the Axis powers, Americans would need to make sacrifices to keep the spirit of America alive. They would also need to practice lives of kindness and generosity that included a sense of responsibility for others -- for the neighbors they knew as well as for the people they didn't know.

It was an important and profound speech, although there was no memorable catch phrase like "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" that he famously declared in his first inaugural address in the bleak winter of 1933.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves if we risk losing that "spirit" of America under President Trump. A military parade orchestrated merely to entertain a childish president is a futile and meaningless spectacle, unless it is accompanied by a real understanding and acknowledgment of America's vital military, moral and humanitarian role in the rest of the world.

This was the kind of essential role that America played when it became the arsenal of democracy in World War II and when, after the war, it created the Marshall Plan to restore health, democracy and prosperity to a war-ravaged Europe -- the opposite of the nativist, nationalist, isolationist and counterproductive mentality of "America First."

Name-calling, rash threats and empty displays of military prowess are no substitute for the compassion, generosity, decency and dignity that have kept alive for almost 2½ centuries the precious quasi-divine purpose of our nation. In his first inaugural address in 1789, George Washington memorably said, "The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government are staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."

America is still an ongoing experiment -- let us work to keep that "sacred fire" and the moral and ethical "democratic aspiration" alive.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1524527

Reported Deaths: 20751
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2077652558
Lake1010411517
Allen946081024
Hamilton73638551
St. Joseph65362761
Elkhart50026632
Vanderburgh48959530
Tippecanoe44411338
Johnson38772527
Hendricks36850462
Porter34709476
Madison29301547
Clark26328328
Vigo25941346
LaPorte23600313
Monroe23478249
Howard22382381
Delaware21877370
Hancock18857220
Bartholomew18433216
Kosciusko18124203
Warrick17207215
Wayne16474303
Floyd16129257
Grant15566299
Morgan14615232
Boone13622138
Noble11983142
Shelby11877152
Dearborn11825113
Henry11771201
Marshall11444171
Dubois11418152
Jackson10772104
Cass10380143
Lawrence10308221
DeKalb10292132
Huntington10277140
Gibson9749126
Montgomery9377144
Knox9162125
Harrison9157117
Whitley886771
Steuben8739105
Jasper8325116
Putnam8306100
Clinton827596
Miami8249135
Jefferson8030127
Wabash7914139
Ripley7278116
Adams6713103
Daviess6661130
Scott663586
White624484
Greene6159112
Clay615275
Decatur6062120
Wells6001120
Jennings600081
Fayette5886122
Posey561648
LaGrange535797
Randolph5171129
Washington511470
Owen5068100
Fountain482580
Spencer457456
Sullivan449866
Starke443986
Fulton440393
Orange435083
Jay419964
Rush418839
Perry397555
Carroll384549
Franklin382850
Vermillion363562
Pike327845
Parke327338
Tipton320675
Blackford275955
Pulaski275375
Newton235461
Brown233556
Benton221521
Crawford220132
Switzerland201414
Martin191822
Warren179522
Union172619
Ohio125216
Unassigned0759

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2496243

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2696772100
Cuyahoga2600613087
Hamilton1742641756
Montgomery1162791651
Summit1084961418
Lucas929121193
Butler82981963
Stark766321431
Lorain63976809
Warren52895489
Mahoning50955930
Lake47462611
Clermont46371452
Delaware40674220
Trumbull39527790
Licking38492416
Medina38487427
Fairfield35469349
Greene33906435
Portage32283366
Clark31960453
Richland29400444
Wood29143301
Allen25702403
Miami23931408
Muskingum23316255
Columbiana22903409
Wayne21965365
Tuscarawas19512428
Erie18531224
Ashtabula18489362
Marion18456235
Scioto17888214
Ross17287260
Pickaway16251181
Hancock16004232
Geauga15456229
Lawrence14746186
Belmont14033248
Union1403384
Huron13838184
Jefferson13519261
Sandusky13180200
Athens12624107
Knox12037201
Seneca11934204
Darke11316202
Ashland11157184
Washington11009172
Auglaize10785147
Crawford10333178
Shelby10308160
Brown9972145
Fulton9661154
Highland9632151
Guernsey9612122
Defiance9486137
Logan9403147
Clinton9299132
Mercer9015112
Madison8971111
Preble8428170
Williams8263138
Putnam8024136
Champaign7974113
Ottawa7909123
Jackson7763121
Perry7415102
Coshocton7345136
Morrow723984
Fayette703292
Pike658489
Hardin6532133
Gallia634391
Adams6159127
Van Wert6025121
Henry598196
Hocking5835105
Wyandot498894
Carroll4961101
Holmes4857167
Paulding421665
Meigs397774
Monroe313868
Harrison296362
Noble295652
Morgan289448
Vinton254646
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: 4°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: 7°
Huntington
Mostly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: 5°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 4°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
16° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: 16°
Another system on Monday brings more snow and breezy conditions into the region.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events