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Frida Berrigan: Donald Trump, a One-Man 9/11?
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While preparing to walk in New York City — or, as it turned out, given the staggering crowds, to stand in one spot for long periods — in support of the Women’s March (which would set protest records nationally), I had a specific urge. I wanted to carry the flag. I’m talking about the stars and stripes, the one that “o’er the ramparts” flew. Although I could indeed have gotten my hands on a flag, I had no idea how to get a pole for it and I certainly wasn’t going to drape it over my shoulders. In its own way, it was a ridiculous idea, given that, at almost 73, I probably would only have lasted a few spare minutes actually carrying a flag on a pole.

Still, the idea meant something to me for a simple enough reason: this country is mine. I’ve always loved it even when — as in the Vietnam era — I was so angry with it for what it was doing; even when, as in these last 15 years, I disagreed with just about everything its leaders did in the world. In the end, I’m rooted here in ways that go right to the heart of things.

My grandfather was an immigrant. A runaway, he made it to this country in steerage class with only a few cents in his pocket, initially sharing a bed behind a stove with someone who used it when he didn’t. It was a typical story — though, sadly, perhaps far less typical if Donald Trump (in the great tradition of American nativism) has anything to do with it. Though he died when I was quite young, I was deeply proud of him and of what he did and how he got here. My grandmother was the daughter of immigrants. She helped make me who I am. Thanks in part to her, I’ve always felt a deep responsibility for this country — both for what it is and especially for what it isn’t. This website, TomDispatch, is an expression of that. For the last 15 years, it’s focused regularly on “what it isn’t,” a body of work I consider my late-in-life service to this country.

Here’s the thing with that flag. It’s a potent symbol, it’s mine, and I’ll be damned if I’ll give up the most crucial symbols of my country to Donald Trump. So I have my version of patriotism that’s bone deep in me, but I must admit that I’m moved by TomDispatch regular Frida Berrigan’s version of it as well. Her particular embrace of this country makes me want to say to those so much younger than me and in despair: don’t let Donald Trump make you reject what’s basic and best about America. Do that and, despite yourself, you’ll be aiding and abetting the crimes of the Trump regime (which will be plentiful in the years to come).

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump 
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  1. Sean says:

    What’s basic and best about America is Americans.

  2. The Scalpel says: • Website

    A 73 year old baby. Donald Trump can’t take away your values or anything else. Didn’t your mommy teach you that? There is a modern word that describes your attitude – butt hurt.

  3. Stupid cunt. Invents a straw man and frightens herself with it. What exactly are “the crimes of the Trump regime (which will be plentiful in the years to come).” I doubt she has a problem with mass murder or she wouldn’t support Hillary.

  4. I am utterly mystified by your referring to His Imperial Divine Majesty as “…a one-man 9/11″.

    He spoke in His Inaugural Address of American students “…deprived of all knowledge.” You are one of those students.

    You could start to educate yourself by reading The 9/11 Toronto Report by James R. Gourley, International Center for 9/11 Studies, Dallas, Texas (2013). Learn more at:

    The Report makes “…a clear and unmistakable case that the official account of 9/11 is false…”. The U.S. Government-approved official conspiracy theory is the quintessential paradigm of “fake news”.

    Here’s the punch line: You’re much too certain of your “knowledge” to even start reading it.

    You would thus fit right in as a professor in any American university “history” department.

  5. She thinks she owns the flag and Trump doesn’t. Because of his soon-to-be plentiful crimes. She’s a nut.

  6. The crimes that Trump is certain to commit!

    I try to read something completely bat shit crazy from the left every day.

    This certainly fulfills the requirement for today.

  7. why are trump supporters always so emo? don’t like the points made in the article, attack them with your own.

    if your attacks are all personal and nothing to do with the article, that tells other commenters something, about you and the article.

  8. Shhhhhh…. If we all keep quiet she’ll chain herself to the Pentagon.

  9. Ragno says:

    I’m with you, Tom-Tom. It’s too bad you couldn’t get hold of an honest-to-God American flag to wave at the NYC Ho-down.

    Can you imagine-?…..the sight of a septuagenarian white man waving an American flag in the midst of that viper’s nest? Six, two and even some ski-masked antifa goons would’ve been triggered into throwing you to the ground and bootstomping you good.

    Then you could have dictated your apology to your attackers from your hospital bed!

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