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

Summer is almost here, which means the end of Saturday Night Live’s regular season. For a finale, Alec Baldwin returns in the SNL cold open to bid us farewell with a rousing, lunatic version of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” as he looks forward to “doing the things I never get to do” — playing golf (cue laughter) and visiting friends in prison.

Joined by the rest of the cast’s White House regulars in this ominous musicale, the president warns that he’s “on cruise control to a second term.” But before the end, Robert Mueller (Robert DeNiro) steps in with “something important to tell America,” but Baldwin shouts him down: “No collusion! No obstruction!”

Wince and laugh.

"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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