President-elect Donald Trump ran his campaign using absurd and offensive rhetoric, but he also tapped into another element. Trump managed to mutate and twist his supporter’s sense of patriotism into a perverse mix of American exceptionalism and religious, nationalistic idolatry.
The billionaire buffoon’s use of the American flag as a prop is evident to everyone but his supporters.
However, it turns out that Trump had plenty of practice pimping the flag to enhance his public profile.
Back in 2008, Trump started an absurd feud with the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, over an illegal flag pole he put without any regard for the local rules and ordinances. The 70-foot flag pole, which flew a 400-square-foot American Flag, sits on the property of Trump’s Rancho Palos Verdes golf club.
Local officials said that Trump originally failed to file the proper paperwork and refused to pay a $10,000 filing fee which would have allowed the commission to inspect the flagpole and gauge its effect on the coast.
But Trump decided to turn it into a bigger issue by stating that he shouldn’t need a permit to fly an American flag.
“‘Do we need permission to plant bushes?’ Trump said.”
The billionaire even appeared in a segment on Steven Colbert’s show back in 2008 to make his case.
To say the segment was unflattering would be an understatement.
CLIP OF TRUMP ON COLBERT IN 2007 ADMITTING HE DOESNT KNOW WHAT THE 13 STRIPES ON THE FLAG REPRESENT. pic.twitter.com/cUGHjwZPBd
— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) November 29, 2016
The flag incident represents something more than Trump’s fake patriotism; it also shows how the billionaire feels comfortable breaking any rule or law that he doesn’t like in order to negotiate better terms for himself.
His supporters foolishly believe this “skill” will serve Trump well as president. However, the rest of the world stands ready to bust their bubble. Trump is all about worshiping red, white, and blue (especially white), but his ignorance of what the flag’s history and what it truly symbolizes says it all.
Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images