The recent show of force in Washington by President Trump was very impressive. The Commander-in-chief ordered all the military brass to show up beside him as he gloated over the war machine that our dollars have produced. The display of tanks and airplanes and other weapons was indeed impressive. Other countries must have shaken in their boots as they saw the power of the US Armed forces. If only we could solve our problems this way.
I look at the challenges facing this country and none can be solved using our military might. We should have learned the awful lesson in Viet Nam, in Irag, in Afghanistan, that military might does not necessarily bring you victory. A knowledgeable, determined enemy can resist longer than we can fight. We are not that strong. Our will is not that great. Gone are the days when you could bully people into submission. They just might call your bluff.
The immigrant crisis, global warming, the healthcare inequities, infrastructure needs, public education, gun violence and the other problems facing us cannot be solved by military might. They require solutions and deep thinking. We seem to be absent the essential element that makes this possible – brain power. Maybe if we spent more time thinking about these things and less time figuring out how we can obliterate somebody, we could solve our most perplexing problems.
This not to say that threats to our way of life are unreal. The well-documented Russian interference in our election is proof of that. The existence of nuclear capabilities in many counties indicates we could be tremendously harmed and there would be much loss of life if any of these were unleashed on America. The destruction would be real. It is important that we be able to defend ourselves. That does not mean we have to play nice with dictators and despots who treat their own people in a way that we find intolerable. We must have principles and we can show people there is a better way. Our chances of prevailing are much improved if we use this method.
I have always thought that people who tell you how smart they are represent ignorance at the highest level. If you are so smart, it will be obvious by the caliber of the decision you make, not by what you say. America is strong not because we say so. We are strong because we are. We have a tremendous economy. We have an excellent military. We are a principled people(for the most part. At least we strive to be). No amount of braggadocio or parading will change a thing. Who are fooling – ourselves? You can’t be strong and weak at the same time. You can’t be good and bad. Either you are or you aren’t. No amount of bluffing makes your hand any stronger.
President Trump must realize that your true self is revealed by your actions. His show of force was all ego. America is not great because it can conquer everybody. America is great because it represents a better way.