One would expect the man who polarized the nation by turning the protest movement — started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — of taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against minorities into a rallying point for condemnation by right-wing racists to exhibit complete and utter respectfulness during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” particularly when the anthem is being played at a viewing-party for the NFL’s biggest game of the year.
With Donald Trump, however, one would have to be an utter fool to expect consistent, rational, and respectful behavior of any sort.
That maxim was proven yet again this weekend at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida where the president was hosting a profit-seeking Super Bowl party at his own resort that cost taxpayers $3.4 million in transportation and security costs for Trump, his family, and his staff to attend.
By comparison, members of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort got a relative bargain with tickets for the privilege of watching the game in the president’s presence were only $75 each — after those members paid their initiation fee of around $450,000 and their annual dues of several thousand dollars.
In addition to watching the game — and a half-time show by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira that subtly tweaked Trump’s nightmarish immigration policies by incorporating symbolic representations of kids in cages into their performances — guests at the viewing party also got to witness how the president acts when he doesn’t realize that cameras are capturing his every move.
Rather than stand solemnly and “proudly,” with his hand respectfully placed over his heart, as he so fervently insisted that the protesting NFL players should do, Trump acted like a misbehaving five-year-old as the anthem was played — as the video captured by “a real estate agent for a Russian-American firm who frequents Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties and events” demonstrated, as The Miami Herald reported.
Besides the ironically incriminating sound of Russian being spoken by a bystander during the anthem, Trump’s frivolous grandstanding as he pretends to conduct the performance is certainly a hell of a lot more disrespectful than any politically-motivated demand for equal treatment under the law made by NFL players could ever be considered.
Trump failed to follow his own standards for appropriate behavior during the anthem as he expressed them in a 2018 interview with Fox and Friends.
“You have to stand, proudly, for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country,” Trump declared.
Trump’s documented behavior during the anthem would have many Americans disgusted by his sham impeachment trial agreeing with the idea that perhaps he shouldn’t be in the country either…unless under incarceration.
At least, unlike at last year’s Super Bowl party, the president didn’t pose for a selfie with anyone running a “rub and tug” massage parlor where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly paid for sex. As far as we know so far, anyway.
Original reporting by Sarah Blaskey at The Miami Herald.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.