In our modern political dumpster fire, there has never been an art so refined and illustrious as pointless pearl-clutching. 

In this, the ninth year of 2016, most everyone is fairly desensitized to the political drama emanating from the Left’s ardent claims that any conservative policy or protest is an appeal to fascism as their own organizations and protesters set fire to cities (and sometimes themselves).

Republicans pass a bill banning sexually explicit content in public schools from kindergarten to third grade? Florida Democrats and media labeled it fascism.

A U.S. Supreme Court justice’s wife flies a Revolutionary War flag commissioned by George Washington? Salon’s senior writer described Justice Samuel Alito and his wife as “extremely invested in the semiotics of American fascism.”

The New Republic, The Guardian, taxpayer-funded PBS—any time a Republican so much as upholds parliamentary procedure, defends former President Donald Trump, or questions the surge of gang and cartel members amid waves of illegal immigrants—these outlets are ready in the wings to call any to the right of Chairman Mao a fascist.

The latest banner of fascism to be shouted down in a “Two Minutes Hate” session out of George Orwell’s “1984”: flying the flag of the United States upside down. The horror!

As ridiculous as it might sound—the group that has spent the past eight years defending those who burn, shred, and desecrate the U.S. flag is suddenly outraged over many in the nation who have flown the U.S. flag upside down in a symbol of distress over Trump’s political prosecution and conviction.

Many on the Left and precious few on the Right have taken to social media to lambast those who would fly the U.S. flag upside down as “disrespectful,” “treasonous,” and “idol-worshipers.”

Is this the case? Are those who reacted to Trump’s felony convictions in New York City simply bowing at his feet in a brutal backstabbing of the United States? Is this heinous, unspeakable act the very hallmark of fascism and the alleged “cult of personality” that the Left has predicted for almost a century?

Of course not, and you know that.

We needn’t walk down the halls of easily accessible history to discern how this wrist-shattering pearl clutch is both hypocritical and ignorant. But we’ll do so, not out of necessity but because heaping good data en masse against poorly constructed arguments is entertaining.

First and foremost: Flying the flag of the United States upside down is not disrespectful, illegal, treasonous, or even unprecedented.

Although 4 U.S. Code § 8, commonly referred to as the “Flag Code,” isn’t legally enforceable (because U.S. citizens retain First Amendment rights to do with their own flags whatever they wish), flying the flag upside down under appropriate circumstances wouldn’t violate the law.

The law clearly states: “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” (The “union” refers to the patch of blue with 50 stars.)

Thousands in the U.S. have flown our flag upside down to express their “dire distress” in such instances over the past century.

Leftists consistently flew the U.S. flag upside down throughout Trump’s presidency to signal their deep disquiet and fear, from Washington state to Louisiana. Democrats in New Jersey resolutely flew the flag upside down in protest of Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. Some Republicans flew their flags upside down when Barack Obama was reelected in 2012.

The American flag has been flown upside down as “a tribute to veterans’ sacrifice,” and was one of the many symbols of protest against the Vietnam War used by leftist demonstrators in the 1960s.

The Flag Code doesn’t specify what “extreme danger to life or property” entails, nor does it restrict such interpretation to a physical danger or a political one. Might there be a situation today in which many Americans feel in deep distress over a perceived danger to the life and property of their republic?

Never before in American history has a former president, much less one running for office again, been charged and convicted in such a kangaroo-court fashion that even his political adversaries note the insanity of the circumstances.

In an extremely heated presidential election campaign, indicting one of the two frontrunners would be considered enough of an anathema—but the case of New York v. Trump was more than precarious, it was a circus. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, ran on the promise of doing anything he could to find something to indict Trump with. Outside his jurisdiction, Bragg used a federal election statute—which the Federal Election Commission already had stated Trump didn’t violate—as a convoluted lever to turn 34 counts of “falsifying business records,” misdemeanors that by this point were outside New York’s statute of limitations, into felonies.

As if that weren’t enough, Judge Juan Merchan refused to allow a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission to testify, refused to allow the defense to speak to the jury before deliberation, and informed jurors that to convict they didn’t have to reach a unanimous decision on what crime was committed.

Such actions by Merchan set a nation on fire even as trust in institutions already was wavering.

Elie Honig, a former federal and state prosecutor, wrote for New York magazine, an extremely liberal publication: “Prosecutors got Trump—but they contorted the law.” Honig pointed out that never before in U.S. history has there been a state prosecution using federal election law.

You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned Trump’s sex life, his character, or his business decisions—in fact, many of those expressing extreme distress at this forded Rubicon aren’t being protective of Trump like he was some kind of nonsensical religious idol. 

Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who have spent the past few years as Trump’s chief opposition within the GOP, both called this case and conviction despicable. 

When a reporter asks President Joe Biden whether he used this case to politically persecute Trump and he casts a wicked grin in her direction, how is the nation supposed to respond?

Why is the left side of the aisle afforded the right to ride through towns and cities shouting about the impending doom of the republic like some bastardized caricature of Paul Revere, and the right side isn’t allowed to call out the very sham John Adams unpopularly fought in court to prevent?

Spare me your clutched pearls, neoconservatives. Your faux dignity and condescension at the concerns of Americans whose carcass of a justice system is paraded openly don’t move me. 

I don’t have to defend Trump’s personal life and sign onto a “cult of personality” to recognize that each of us has a right to be free from political persecution and election interference. 

Commentator Alyssa Farah’s silly claims that flying the flag upside down signals “selling out” are as pathetic and hypocritical as the rest of the cast of “The View” with whom she clucks and quacks about abortion rights, gun confiscation, and anti-Catholicism.

Whistling past the graveyard and sending a “strongly worded letter” have only mired us further in the muck of Third World antics.

I reserve the right to fly my flag upside down to signal my extreme distress at this danger to the life and property of the republic I love, and I’ll do so whenever I find it appropriate.