Jonathan Alter on flag hugging and American bashing, circa 2016:
Trump last week seemed determined once again to tap deep fears of terrorism. That’s what he successfully did after the mass shootings last December in San Bernardino, Calif., when his popularity surged. But this time it didn’t work. A CBS News poll showed Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by seven points on handling terrorism.
A flag hugger does not a patriot make.
For days, a calm and purposeful Clinton has appeared more in tune with patriotic values than Trump, whose proposed ban on Muslim immigration and incendiary tweets and speeches are striking large numbers of Americans as unconstitutional, unwise (in terms of getting the cooperation we need to catch terrorists) and — in his implication that President Obama knew about the attacks in advance — a little unhinged.
Striking differences in approach. Oh, to be a late night standup comedian.