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

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What No Patriot Would Ever Do

"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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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Despite Coronavirus Peril, Trump Insists On July 4 Events

Donald Trump has not backed down from plans to hold events to mark the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C., despite pleas from local lawmakers and elected officials who say going ahead with them is an unnecessary risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will cost far too much for a region already struggling with budget shortfalls due to the pandemic.

The White House announced the "Salute to America" event on the White House's south lawn and on the Ellipse in a statement on June 19, weeks after officials had asked Trump not to hold the event this year. "In addition to music, military demonstrations, and flyovers to honor our Nation's service members and veterans, the President will deliver remarks that celebrate our independence and salute our amazing heritage. The evening will culminate with a spectacular fireworks display over the National Mall."

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Taking A Summer Break From Trump’s Melodrama

This summer, I’m taking a tip from the Chantix turkey. You may have seen the ads for Chantix, a drug claiming to help people stop smoking gradually. The turkey character is seen trying to quit cigarettes in a calm, slow manner rather than going “cold turkey.” The mellow Galliforme calmly adjusts the A/C, reads a book poolside and relaxes at home in his retro argyle vest.

I’ve used these hot months to greatly slow Donald Trump’s assaults on my psyche. That doesn’t mean totally ignoring his destructive policies. It does mean ignoring his provocations.

It started around the Fourth of July. Trump turned this normally nonpartisan celebration into a tribute to himself. Did you hear a peep from me? You did not. While others railed, as Trump wanted them to, I attended to other matters.

Not only did I not watch the taxpayer-funded Trump commercial but I also skipped days of advanced wailing by his critics. I wish the protesters had found something else to do and kept the Trump-baby balloon in the garage. They only added to his coverage.

An entirely enjoyable Fourth centered on my town’s fireworks. The high point of national pride that week was provided by the U.S. women’s soccer team.

My feathers were a bit ruffled by Trump’s racist attacks on the “squad”, four radical Democratic congresswomen of color, last week. The tweet was disgusting, of course. And few Republican officials condemned it. Right, and the sun rose in the east.

Trump knows the quartet’s defense had been somewhat compromised by its members’ tossing around careless accusations of racism against other Democrats — as well as a vulgar anti-Semitic reference by one, Ilhan Omar. Perhaps concerned that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has begun to rein them in, he seemed intent on keeping them front and center as the faces of the Democratic Party by whatever means.

It would not shock me to learn that Trump’s cruelty at the border was partly intended to goad some Democrats into advocating policies that would weaken immigration enforcement. Do they have any idea how unpopular these ideas are, even to many who they think they’re pandering to?

But Trump’s psychological warfare won’t prevail if the opposition’s obsession with him is replaced by an equal determination to vote him out in 2020. That’s hard when the media, commercial and social, have so much time on their hands and a tendency to focus on the inflammatory over the important.

I checked my news stations, CNN and MSNBC. From dawn till midnight, panels were discussing what Trump says, what he believes, whether he believes what he says, why he’s saying it and what he thinks he’ll get out of it. The conversations loop around the same tedious circles.

And along with that repetition comes the listing of Trump’s contradictions, lies and ugly conspiracy theories. Look at all the America bashing he’s done! Remember his bizarre “American carnage” inaugural speech — given at a time of falling crime rates and a 40-year low in border-crossing arrests? Who needs reminding?

Trump is hypocritical, shameless and an international embarrassment? You don’t say.

Helping keep me cool are polls showing Joe Biden comfortably ahead in most primary races. Biden is the candidate not threatening private health insurance coverage for about 250 million Americans. And he doesn’t want to decriminalize illegal border crossings. Nevertheless, as president he would be worlds more humane toward immigrants than the current White House occupant.

Biden is the one standing strongest between Trump and a second term.

The turkey has the right idea in turning down the noise and opening a paper book. Me? It’s time to fill the birdbath and fertilize the tomatoes.