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Other Than the Flag, What Do Republicans Stand for Anymore?

This week, once Trump found out less than ten players from the Super Bowl Champion, Philadelphia Eagles, had accept the Race-Baiter-in-Chief’s invite to the White House, he uninvited them. He then, in typical Trump fashion, lied about why and said it was because some of them had knelt during pre-game anthems this season. None of them did.

Trump then decided to turn the event into a “Celebration of America” during which he surrounded his himself with soldiers and mouthed his way through the anthem and another patriotic song he didn’t know the words to. His base will, of course, eat this up. They will view it as a sincere show of patriotism despite the fact it comes just days after Trump and his TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, attacked the most foundational cornerstone of our Democracy: the idea that no one, not even the president, is above the law.

According to Trump and Giuliani, Trump can pardon himself. Trump can kill someone investigating him and still couldn’t be indicted. According to them, everything this country stands for, every war this country has fought and every soldier who has laid down their life didn’t do it for a democracy, but for a term-limited king who can do whatever the hell he wants because his pardon power is absolute. This is right on par with Nixon saying if the President does it, it isn’t illegal.

Along with these mocking shows of love of country from a man who attacks everything it stands for, we’ve also seen family value Republicans remain silent in the face of the Adulterer-in-Chief’s new border policy of separating children, even infants, from their parents. I’m not a religious man, but I don’t need religion to tell me that taking a newborn from a mother for purely punitive reasons is cruel and beneath the dignity of our country. Republicans who tell us life is sacred and that the government can’t be trusted to do anything right, now want to put the long-term care of thousands of children in the hands of government officials? They’re OK with them being locked up behind blacked-out doors of abandoned Wal-marts in strip malls? They think that is the appropriate way to treat a child whose only crime was…wait? What was the child’s crime that warrants this kind of treatment?

These same, life-is-sacred Trump supports said nothing as we found out this week the death toll in Puerto Rico was likely 75 times higher than initially reported. They say not a word as Trump tweets and talks endlessly about anything else, even while parts of the island are still without power, and we’re warned this death toll will continue to go up as people needlessly die from lack of services.

And don’t even get me started on the idea that this man with his hand over his heart is “draining the swap,” which they have somehow convinced themselves he’s doing despite such clear evidence of corruption from so many in his administration and in his family. If he is draining the swamp, he’s draining it so he can fill up the pool in the White House, so he doesn’t have to walk as far to bathe in its filth. His international business dealings, which he said he’d stop doing once he was elected, keep having alarmingly coincidental connections with our international policy. The EPA head, Scott Pruitt, is still in office and Trump has admitted to yet another lie related to the Russian investigation and the letter he “didn’t help write.”

While all of this has been going on, he’s enjoyed record-high approval ratings from members of the Republican party. This all leaves me with just one question for the GOP and Trump supporters: other than the flag, what do y’all stand for?

Brian M. Williams
Brian is the author of the recently published travel memoir "Stranger in a Stranger Land: My Six Years in Korea." (Click this profile for more information.) He's also a law school grad with Southern charm and Virginia roots. He recently returned to America after nearly seven years traveling and working abroad. He loves dive bars, international travel and foreign accents. He's particularly good at small talk and was the first person to notice there's no "I" in "team."

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