There were very few things during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday that everyone decided to stand for en masse. In fact, it seems like some Democrats merely showed up so that the cameras could catch them looking salty at everything that came out of the president’s mouth.
One of the things that was almost an exception to the rule was the president’s mention of the American flag. Now, the Democrats usually don’t have a problem trashing the American flag, but 2018 is a mid-term election year and sitting down while the American flag is being mentioned generally isn’t a good look with voters.
However, you noticed I said almost an exception. That’s because one kinda-sorta-Democrat — Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist who caucuses with the Dems and mounted a strong run for their presidential nomination in 2016 — decided that the flag wasn’t worth standing for.
The incident came during a portion of the speech during which the president was talking about unity and “what kind of a nation we’re going to be.”
“All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family can do anything,” the president said.
“We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny and the same great American flag,” Trump said, emphasizing the last four words.
This had even the Democrats up and cheering, if in a relatively desultory fashion. After all, they prefer standing for a few seconds to losing their jobs.
One lawmaker among their ranks was not like the others, however, and the TV cameras definitely caught it:
Comrade Sanders is not impressed. He only stands for “The Internationale.”
While the Democrats are perfectly happy to stand behind flag-burners and anthem-kneelers the rest of the year, I suppose that desultory applause for the flag is better than no applause at all.
And the fact is, much like any State of the Union, there was plenty of conspicuous sitting during uncontroversial statements that should have brought down the room during any other time — like detailing the defeat of the Islamic State group in the Middle East, which Trump actually had to prompt the Democrat side of the aisle to stand during.
However, given that Sanders seems to at least be positioning himself to run against Trump in 2020, the fact that he was sitting during a round of applause for the flag, of all things, proves yet again just how far to the left he is.
I don’t wish to speculate on Sanders’ motives, which I’m sure he’ll reveal in the coming days. The fact is that for a party that preaches it’s closer to the American vision than the Republicans, they may have a nominee that won’t even stand for the flag.
For a party that preaches that it isn’t about division, this is about as divisive a stand as it’s possible for a candidate to take.
And for a party that keeps on trying to assure America that it’s learned the lessons of 2016, one of their front-runners has proven yet again many of them haven’t got a clue.
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