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The Wrong President To Claim The High Ground On Patriotism

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump leaves after speaking during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington, DC, July 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The following is an excerpt from Steve Benen | September 25, 2017 | msnbc.com |

As part of a lengthy series of online missives about sports and politics over the weekend, Donald Trump positioned himself as some kind of arbiter of patriotism. This was the message last night, for example:

“Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!”

Three hours earlier, the president published a related message:

“Courageous Patriots have fought and died for our great American Flag — we MUST honor and respect it! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

There were a variety of similar tweets pushing the same theme: Trump, we’re supposed to believe, is truly patriotic, while some of those engaged in peaceful protests on civil rights are showing disrespect toward the United States.

For a politician who’s demonstrated authoritarian instincts on a few too many occasions, Trump’s nationalistic posturing is unsettling. But just as important is the fact that the president doesn’t seem to appreciate just how poor a messenger he is for this particular message.

Two weeks after taking office, for example, Trump sat down for an interview in which he was reminded that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a killer.” Trump replied, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

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