First off, in case you haven’t deduced this about me through my writings on this blog and elsewhere, let me say it again: I am a fairminded and open-minded person. I respect opposing viewpoints, and when I disagree with them, I try my best to express and articulate my own views, counter argument and opinion with honesty, reason, logic and fairness. I dislike guile and hypocrisy. I am an American, and I love most things America stands for, especially democracy, freedom, the rule of law and respect for rights of ALL its citizens and people.
So herein are my opinions (you have yours; I have mine) on some current issues.
One of the hot debates saturating the news in the home of the brave and land of the FREE, is about the professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem. It started last year with a protest on police brutality and other injustices against blacks and minorities.
The whole issue began with a former Forty Niners (49ers) quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who is black. During the singing of the national anthem in one of the games, he took a knee (instead of the usual standing up) as his way of protesting the oppression suffered by blacks and people of color, especially by the police. At the time, as a fan of the 49ers, I said to myself, and later on in a comment on one of the online forums: “Colin, if I were you, I would concentrate on winning a Super Bowl first, and then think about protesting.” In essence I was against the time, place, manner and medium of his protest - not the reason. I wanted him to comply with the game protocols, which include respecting the flag and then play the game he was paid to play. He can protest some other time and place.
Since then, the story, with Kaepernick at the center, took on a life of its own and became either largely ignored or dead in the water. Well, sort of, until a few weeks ago when Trump again rekindled the controversy and fanned the flames during a campaign rally in Alabama when he screamed to the crowd:
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’”
For me as an American - and I’m sure for any other reasonable good human being - this comment by the president was (as typical of this man), rude, offensive, divisive, malicious, prejudiced and racist. Yes, racist. The comment is SO FAR BELOW the dignity of the office that he holds. “Son of a bitch” is offensive to the mothers of the athletes and it’s DEMEANING and DEHUMANIZING! - to say the very least. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of person Trump is; he belittles and dehumanizes others! That’s his character and his true colors. I’d say that most of the time, when someone calls another person an sob, it’s usually the accuser who is the bigger sob.
And so Trump has continued to wage this battle against the NFL and against those who “disrespect” the flag threatening to undermine the whole league using his powers as president. He needs to understand that he’s a president not a dictator (although he behaves like one). His office has limits under the law as well as in decorum and propriety. When Obama admitted that he was like a president-in-training, Trump is many more times that. Trump needs a lot of training as president and in many other areas pertaining to the office, though I doubt he wants to be trained, taught, advised or counseled by anyone.
For me, standing up is the “right” and respectful way to honor the flag. And yes, fellow citizens, I do stand and will continue to stand during the national anthem, as long as I am physically able. But if I see someone sitting down (which does happen all the time) or taking a knee, next to me or within the scope of my sight, I will not have any ill will, spite or wish any malice towards that person. Basically, I do respect their individual freedoms and rights, and, I personally tend to have a higher threshold of tolerance for such non-compliance. In essence let’s examine and evaluate our own patriotism and not others’. For the professional athletes, it’s the same thing. I may personally disagree but at the same time, still respect their right to sit, kneel, genuflect, etc. At the same time the confines of applicable laws and/or policies of the governing body need to be considered. Incidentally, there is NO law or statute - local, state or federal - against sitting down, taking a knee, or not standing up during the national anthem.
Flag vs. REAL human lives
Mr. Trump dwells, overthinks and obsesses about respecting the flag. And then he often wanders into a spiel about honoring those in the armed forces albeit with a sense of
How do we know this hypocrisy of Trump with regards to his loyalty to the flag versus loyalty to the men and women in the armed forces? Well the news on this is still “wet”.
Several days ago, four members (soldiers) of the US Special Ops forces were killed in an ambush in Niger, Africa. At the time, Trump never acknowledged or tweeted about the news, instead he was busy tweeting and arguing with NFL players, North Korea, and members of Congress (re: Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee). Trump never went to welcome and receive the caskets of the four soldiers like any president should. But where was he, you ask? Golfing! Yes, he was having a good time at his multi-million golf course. Isn’t he also the “Commander in Chief” of the armed forces? Therefore he should be honoring the lives and sacrifice of the soldiers by being there to welcome them, especially it's the first major military tragedy of his presidency. It just goes to show that he doesn't care. He's so bent on respecting the flag, an inanimate symbol, than real human lives. Again, it’s blatant hypocrisy of him to berate those who disrespect the flag and the military forces by not standing during the national anthem, and yet, he did not show respect to the four soldiers brought home in draped coffins by being there to receive them at the military base. And not that he had a good valid excuse - he was playing golf!
And then in a press conference on Monday, he did what he does best - lying, prevaricating, rationalizing, making excuses, fingerpointing, etc. He made so many excuses for not calling or writing the families of the soldiers yet, saying that Obama and other past presidents had not done any of that either - which is a LIE. But when he was pressed on the blame, he said this:
“President Obama, I think, probably did and maybe he didn’t. I don’t know, that’s what I’m told.”
Really? You think? Someone told you? Well a former member of the Obama administration on Twitter called it a “f---ing lie” and called Trump a “deranged animal”. What goes around comes around (re: sob comment) Mr. president. And if not being at the military base to receive the bodies of the soldiers was not bad enough, Trump is now reported to have told one of the widows that her dead husband has “known what he signed up for, ” Whaaat? Only a retard would say that! (He's now disputing the report. yeaahrrriiight!) But can anyone believe that? Well I’ll let the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), Gregg Popovich, answer that question. Here is his answer:
I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.
This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner–and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers–is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.
And that, my friends, is just one sample of how millions of Americans - and others - feel about this so-called “son of a bitch” president.
Now, for the sake of balance and fairness, here are some great things Trump has done as president. First, he nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Second, ..hmmm...uuuhhhh ...hmmm... that’s it folks! Oh, oh, he now wants to make everyone say “Merry Christmas” again instead of “Happy Holidays”. Wow, when did I stop saying "Merry Christmas"? Never knew that was some major national crisis. And what a great national policy that would be. I'm sure the people's standards of living and incomes would be raised, and taxes reduced as a result. Oh, speaking of taxes, Trump is planning to cut taxes for the ........ wait for it ....... Riiiiiich! In other words he wants to cut taxes for people like him. Even some of his own die-hard supporters are starting to be annoyed by the guy’s antics.
Recently, for example, Rush Limbaugh, a pro-Trump radio talk show host, said:
There’s a part of this [NFL] story that’s starting to make me nervous, and it’s this: I am very uncomfortable with the president of the United States being able to dictate the behavior and power of anybody.
Trump should not have the power to dictate who can kneel during the anthem. ~ "The Hill"Neil Cavuto, an anchor for Fox, the extremely pro-Trump channel, recently chastised Trump for his public feud with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). Cavuto said this directing his comments at Trump:
Last time I checked, you are the president of the United States, so tweeting out these tacky insults just seems beneath you. You are running out of friends faster than you are running out of time. How long do you think [people] put up with this? Loyalty works both ways, Mr. President.I think Cavuto meant to say that tweeting out tacky insults just seems beneath the office of the president, not beneath Trump himself because we all know, by now, what Trump is like, as a person.