Look, Mommy, I’m saluting

Trump as seen from the other side of the pond department: Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian on Trump’s childish/despotic desire for a Big Parade of Guns n Tanks.

He’d been nagging the generals about this for a while but, according to the Washington Post, he gave the order at a meeting at the Pentagon last month.

No need for us to deconstruct the motive behind this instruction. It came after Trump was the guest at France’s Bastille Day parade, where he stood at Emmanuel Macron’s side and watched tanks, gun trucks and column after column of starchly uniformed soldiers. “We’re going to have to try and top it,” Trump said afterwards. (The actual order to military chiefs was phrased in the language of a spoiled child: “I want a parade like the one in France.”)

The whole thing is like a spoiled child. The being awestruck at a military parade; the gormlessly announcing how awestruck he was; that idiotic solemn salute when no one else was saluting and it’s not even his country –

Image result for trump saluting france

He looks like a giant toddler.

…the envy; the unembarrassed announcement of the envy; the demand for a Bigger and Better one – every bit of it is so spoiled child we don’t know whether to vomit or laugh-sob or start building a shelter.

Opponents can react to this in one of two ways. Mockery is the obvious response, seeing in Trump’s desire to display US tanks and rocket launchers on Pennsylvania Avenue the same transparent insecurity as the mid-life crisis neighbour who suddenly turns up with a Ferrari in the driveway.

Or we can be more sober, and regard this as just the latest and potentially most spectacular demonstration of Trump’s authoritarian instincts.

That’s just it, as it pretty much always is with Trump – he’s both at once, at all times – shockingly and hilariously/disgustingly childish, and horrendously destructive in more ways than we can list.

Just as he has repeatedly expressed admiration for strongmen in the Vladimir Putin mode, just as he regards the machinery of the state as his personal staff – casually referring to “my justice department” or “my generals” – and just as this week he suggested that those who refuse to applaud him are “treasonous”, so this is yet more proof that Trump’s instincts are those of the autocrat. Little wonder that he wants to take the salute at the kind of military display more associated with Moscow or Pyongyang than Washington DC.

And tried to take it in Paris, as if he were the local boss rather than a visitor.

But, Freedland goes on, lots of people here will love it. Yes, we know.

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