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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic candidate for president, on Sunday received a rousing applause from the Fox News town hall audience when asked about Donald Trump’s Twitter attacks, saying simply, “I don’t care.”

Host Chris Wallace followed up on a question about the Democratic Party “possibly impeaching Trump” by asking Buttigieg how he would “deal with” the president — and his Twitter handle — in the general election.

“Let’s talk less about policies than dynamic of running again Donald Trump,” Wallace began. “As we see in 2016, he is a formidable and unconventional candidate, he is already making fun of your name, and your looks— comparing you to Alfred Newman. How would you deal with him … How would you handle insults and attacks and Tweets and that?”

“Tweets are — I don’t care,” Buttigieg replied as the audience roared.

“That gets a lot of applause,” Wallace observed.

“It is an effective way to command the attention of media,” Buttigieg continued. “We need to change the channel from the show he created. I get it, it is mesmerizing. It is hard to look away. It is the nature of grotesque things you can’t look away.”

"Performative patriotism" is a fancy way of describing what my father — a veteran of World War II who rarely spoke about his service — called "jelly-bellied flag flappers." Dad always laughed at those phonies, but we now suffer a president who is exactly that type, only worse. And Donald Trump's flag-flapping fakery is no joke.

A performative patriot is someone who, like Trump, oversells his supposed love of country, his reverence for the Stars and Stripes and, especially, his indignation at those whom he suspects of lacking his deep fervor. Such a figure will, like Trump, attempt to market these counterfeit emotions for his own benefit. And like Trump, that loud jingo is someone whose character will lead to a betrayal of American values.

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