Angry arguments greeted the President’s proposal for a grand parade celebrating America’s military might, but the administration could still turn the controversy into a big win. Justification for the parade involves rallying public enthusiasm for our unmatched military, while the argument against it cites a waste of money at a time of swelling deficits.
But if the President led a national campaign for private funding of the new parade, he could address the objections to his plan. Major corporations—not just the defense industry—should rush forward to donate millions to honor the armed forces that make their success possible. Private citizens joining the effort would also gain stakes in the patriotic message.
Inaugural celebrations greeting each new presidency are, for the most part, privately funded. Why not a major military festival? This approach reinforces a crucial conservative message: government funds should never be assigned to finance functions the private sector could handle just as effectively.