The politicization of everything. When the personal becomes political, when you can’t watch sportsball without politics being interjected, you are well down the road of totalitarianism. I have a crazy idea: I don’t have to choose sides. The protesting players are terrible, and Trump is terrible.
One other point: I see a lot of nonsense on Twitter and in other places that they are just “standing up for their First Amendment rights.” I find this kind of ignorance infuriating. As I tweeted repeatedly over the weekend, this has absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment, or the Constitution at all. The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law.” Congress has made no law. The fact that Trump was Trump doesn’t change that, even though a president who understands the role of the president wouldn’t have stuck his oar in.
They have a right to protest, but they don’t have a right to make millions throwing and catching footballs. The NFL has a right to fine them, and owners have a right to can them. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean freedom from consequences for it. I’ve personally paid a heavy financial price for expressing my opinions publicly, in that I’ve essentially been blackballed by the main cost-plus space industry. I accept that as the price I have to pay for protesting the continuous waste of taxpayer funds and the continuing crippling of our space capabilities. I have no sympathy for second-rate washed-up spoiled children like Colin Kaepernick and his ilk. But I’m sure that I’ll be called a racist for that.
[Update a few minutes later]
In Trump versus the NFL, we’re all losers:
Everything about the political dynamic suggests that we could be heading toward an escalation where the NFL protests now become more broadly about Trump. And, as I said up top, there’s no obvious off-ramp here. If you’re a player kneeling because the justice system is screwed up, when do you stop kneeling? Because it’s going to be screwed up for a long time. And if you’re kneeling because Trump is president, that’s got a ways to go, too.
In a perfect world, a presidential response would be something like:
The players can do what they like. We should all want the justice system to work as well as possible. We should understand that it will never be perfect, but will not wave away its failings as inconsequential. We’re all God’s children and I invite you to consider that standing during our national anthem is a symbol of how we remain united in pursuit of ever-greater liberty.
But Trump doesn’t do presidential, at least not often, and never off the cuff.
Red Team, Blue Team? Start your own team:
I’m not on the Blue Team. I’m not on the Red Team. I’m on my team.
Occasionally, I’ll exploit the Reds or Blues to advance my aims in, well, making America great again. But I refuse to surrender my individuality to be an extra in someone else’s movie. As the decades of DC failure have shown us time and again, none of these politicians consider themselves to be on my team. I’m just returning the favor.
Republican leaders will like me if I vote for them. Celebrities will like me if I buy tickets. But neither views me as an equal, just a pawn from which they extract money and power. Those days are long gone.
I look at it this way, in sports and in life: When I see the two teams battling on a football field, I’m not going to passively cheer them from the stands. Instead, I’ll head over to the basketball court to see if I can start my own game. And, to be honest, once the hoops scene gets too crowded, I’ll walk down to the baseball field and try starting a game there.
Politicians are just temp employees we hire to do our bidding. If they suck, we fire them. They aren’t gods we bow to or team owners issuing orders. We’re Americans, dammit.
Celebrities are court jesters we pay to amuse us. When they get too mouthy, we kick them out of the dining hall. That’s the beauty of capitalism.
So, if any of our so-called elites want me to join their team, no thanks. I simply have better things to do.
So do I. Yes, I blew up in comments last night. And I’ll happily do it again any time someone demands that I have to blindly support an anal orifice, whether it’s the one in the White House, or the rich BLM knee takers on the football fields.