By holding a military parade on July 4, America’s Independence Day, under the explicit orders of President Donald Trump, the US has broken with its own tradition and history. The Americans, and the West more generally, used to ridicule Russia and China for displaying their military might on their national days, attributing the tendency to their not being democracies. India, although an acknowledged democracy, was also made fun of for its Republic Day parade, on which the latest acquisitions in military hardware are typically displayed.
While President Trump’s speech at the Fourth of July parade was generally of a patriotic nature, the emphasis was on the country’s overwhelming military power, which was portrayed in jingoistic terms. This is thought to give the President a straight access to his core constituency of low-class whites who, back in 2016, were bewitched with the President’s slogan of “America First”.
In his 2016 election campaign, Mr Trump had promised to end his country's overseas military engagements and bring the troops home. The long-running campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan were turning unpopular on account of the loss of American lives and treasure.
In the event, it may have been expected that military glorification might take a back seat. By doing the opposite, Mr Trump may have raised apprehensions in the world that Trump’s America may not have turned its back on overseas wars and the politics of international meddling.