Clete Wetli, Contributor
While the Idiot-in-Chief was visiting Huntsville, AL last week to support Bigly Luther Strange for Senate, he took a moment from his usual and meandering cacophony of self-adulation to encourage the NFL to fire players who engaged in the political protest of kneeling during the National Anthem. Although most Americans use that anthem time to down another beer or have another bong hit before the game begins, Trump thinks that kneeling during the anthem makes athletes traitorous, un-American enemies of the state.
The crowd cheered loudly when they heard Twitler make his proclamation and screamed in approval when he advocated harder hitting in professional football. Perhaps, his supporters already have traumatic brain injury in common with many veteran players and feel that if they must live with it, so should everyone else. Like all of Dolt 45’s experiments in extemporaneous speech it was replete with juvenile insults, fictitious assertions, embarrassing machismo, and enough non-sequiturs to qualify for any number of pathological psychological diagnoses.
However, it was his stance on peaceful protest that had America shaking its head. Of course, no one expected the dolt buffoon to be familiar with laws that explicitly prohibit the President and other government officials from trying to influence the personnel decisions of private companies, like the NFL. The Orange Menace barely speaks in coherent simple sentences as it is. What was amazing was that he didn’t understand why protesting is a sacred constitutionally protected right in our democratic republic.
It never occurred to The Drumpf that America was born in protest. That our country’s greatest achievements are the product of peaceful protests and demonstrations. Protest is the oxygen of our democracy. Some attend rallies and hold signs, some write, some sing, some paint, some seek public office, but protest against politicians and the government is the very real and necessary expression of freedom and independence. More so, when it is a minority opinion or deeply unpopular view.
Tragically, many cities across the US have passed a myriad of ordinances that restrict the right of peaceful protest by charging permit fees and imposing other undue burdens designed solely to quell freedom of speech and expression. Regularly, people seem increasingly ready to advocate censorship if it means being exposed to an opposing view. This is a dangerous trend that diminishes public discourse and threatens our freedom and independence.
For its part, the NFL responded to Trumpzilla by standing in solidarity with the players who chose to take a knee. Many in the NFL may not have the same political views as the protestors, but at least they understood the importance of protecting their right to express themselves.
Ironically, the outrage that’s being expressed by many on the alt-right is humorous since they amass weaponry under the protection of the Second Amendment in case they feel they need to take up arms against the government. That’s patriotic to them, but protesting institutionalized racism and discrimination merits termination from your job?
Too many people believe that because they can block someone on social media that it should be the same way in real life. They also love the algorithms that ensure that they are only fed content that they are sure to like. But that type of groupthink isn’t what makes a representative democracy strong and vibrant. It’s antithetical to progress and growth. Instead, we should be listening to opposing views even more and protecting people’s rights to expression. If you disagree with professional athletes taking a knee during the anthem, then make your case on why they are wrong. We’d love to hear it. Firing them or banning them is what they do in dictatorships.
Protest is as American as apple pie and the NFL. Well, apple pie is as American as French Fries, but that’s another story. In the meantime, Trump really needs to shut his French-fried apple pie hole and figure out a way to keep his soul-mate in bad haircuts, Kim Jung-Un, from starting World War III.