Saturday Rate of Exchange:
Kneeling for the Anthem

from Raymond


On Wednesday, we linked to a piece written by noted Wisconsin conservative James Wigderson about the half-time entertainment with President Trump and the golden sport of Football:

Should Trump have made those comments? Of course he should have.

As might be expected, conversation occasionally became heated. Here are a few highlights:

From T. Paine:

Finally! An article that is reasonable and in agreement with a majority of Americans’ opinions on this topic can be found on the pages of Fair and Unbalanced!

From Burr Deming:

Thank you, T. Paine.

It is my sad duty, once again, to be the bearer of bad news. An overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with you, and with my President, on this issue.

From T. Paine:

Mr. Deming, please don’t mistake my previous statement as support for President Trump’s boorish comments. While I am sympathetic to the principle, he stated it in an unnecessarily provocative way.

Further, I agree that if the NFL, owners, and coaches are okay with the players doing so, then they have a right to be disrespectful to our flag, anthem, and nation while exercising their freedom of speech. I vehemently disagree with them, but that is their right. I wish I had the same first amendment rights with my company without negative repercussions though, like if I wished to espouse my support for traditional marriage at work.

Oh, and the hypocrisy of the NFL is striking. The NFL would not allow players to wear patches in support of the Dallas police officers killed by a BLM-inspired killer, but they will allow protests against the police and our “racist” nation.

I think the longer this goes on, the more the NFL will lose viewers and fans in the stands. Even DirecTV has now been forced to give myriads of refunds for their NFL packages directly because of these protests.

Here is another poll showing that I am not alone in my disgust, and the numbers will likely prove out that most Americans don’t approve of the players doing this.

From Burr Deming:

I dunno, T. Paine.

Jeff Roe is a Republican activist here in Missouri with a reputation for brutally attacking anyone who gets in his way. Those who know him say he makes Rove and Atwater look like Girl Scouts. That’s a quote. The vicious attacks he invented are credited with driving fellow Republican Tom Schweich to suicide.

It’s still possible the Remington Group conducts thoroughly impartial polling. On balance, I think I’d still go with Reuters and Ipsos. A solid majority of Americans do not go with my President on this one.

From Ryan:

A bunch of American man-children obsessed with watching a game of moving a ball back and forth across a field are enraged that the actual players of said game indirectly draw them out of their entertainment in their safe space. How did the players do this? By making a non-verbal, benign “political” statement by refusing to mimic the meaningless but ritualized body positioning expected during a song that is played every game.

These man-children insist, as they always do, that any deviation from their traditional displays of empty, feel-good patriotism is disrespectful to the country and to the military…

…even though the players themselves–the only ones who can really tell us their intentions–explain that their actions are meant to either (1) call attention to problems in the country so that they can be solved or (2) protest Trump’s classless, ignorant, unnecessary, and provocative attacks on them…

…even though symbolic objects and gestures do not have objective, absolute meanings and a person’s failure or refusal to observe them one way or another does not mean that he does not care about what those symbols usually represent anyway…

…even though sports games are a bizarre place to practice flag-waving…

…even though audiences can choose to not watch the brief protests or even to not care that fellow citizens (or more fundamentally: human beings) do not believe or practice “patriotism” exactly as they do…

…even though home audiences themselves largely do not practice the same decorum because they are not pressured by thousands of people around them doing it mindlessly…

…even though the man-children will, once the ritual ends, go right back to stuffing their faces with hot dogs and beer, cheering for meaningless victories, praying for their petty god to intervene to help their team win, cursing and screaming at the team from another city, ultimately forgetting all about the “true patriotism” that they claim to care so much about.

Meanwhile, millions of people in their own country are suffering from actual problems that patriotic fuzzies not only fail to address, but may aggravate, especially insofar as they discourage criticism of the country.

I am so damn SICK of people like this and of conservatives who are always trying to dictate the terms of patriotism and making anyone who fails to abide by those terms out to be scum. My feelings toward Trump and his supporters go without saying. An enemy of reason is an enemy of humanity.

From Dave Dubya:

It’s interesting to note a cop killer can be “a BLM-inspired killer”, but a murderer of a doctor who performs legal abortions cannot be called a “Christian-inspired killer”. Why is that?

Bad cops can get away with shooting Blacks in the back, and are exonerated because they said they were afraid. But those protesting those bad cops and the rigged justice are “sons of bitches”. Why is that?


Well said.

“conservatives who are always trying to dictate the terms of patriotism and making anyone who fails to abide by those terms out to be scum.”

Conservatives have long been usurping the power to unilaterally define and dictate terms of identity, morality and patriotism. They alone may define “liberal” and “left”. Why is that?

They alone have the power to interpret our Constitution, despite theocrats like the Alabama judge and Senate candidate who violated and defied our Constitution with a tax-payer funded monument to the Ten Commandments at a courthouse. Why is that?

They alone have the power to interpret our Constitution and applaud the pardon of the contemptible birther and racist Arizona sheriff whose profiling tactics and detentions were in clear violation of our Constitution. Why is that?

All of this tells us, “It’s OK if you are Republican”, because only Republicans are allowed to judge what is OK. To finish my rhetorical line of questioning, why is that?

You are entirely correct about their “safe place” being corrupted by matters of conscience.

Trump asked for this fight. Now he’s got it.

From Ryan:

It is for reasons like those that I will never be a Republican. Even as Democrats drift leftward of my positions and contend with troubling factions driven by identity politics, all I need to do is glance at what Republicans are doing at any given moment to remind myself that the alternative is far worse.

From Dave Dubya:

One more voice speaks on this issue:

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice”. – Martin Luther King Jr.


From Ryan:

Except the protesters are the ones who get to define what they’re protesting, whether the protest is justified or not. Conservative attempts to malign their character and intentions by declaring them anti-American rather than merely misguided come from a place of either dishonesty or ignorance. If this simply came down to disagreement over the extent and harm of racism in law enforcement, I would not care nearly as much. It also would make no difference if the situation were reversed, such that these teams were protesting some issue I don’t believe in or don’t find worthwhile. It might annoy me, but it would have nothing to do with “disrespect” of some symbol.

We should all be wise enough to distinguish symbols from what they symbolize and protest from actual harm, understand that respect and disrespect can be demonstrated in many ways, and recognize that observing patriotic decorum does not make one a patriot and can easily become a part of rather anti-patriotic tribal behavior.

As for Trump, I agree that he is making things worse, but these problems were around long before he was and they will persist when he is gone.

Then things got hot.

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