What In The Hell Are We Doing?

question What in the hell are we doing? This is a question which seems to be continuously running through my mind lately.   I find it very difficult to believe, I am the only person, who is asking this question. Surely there are others, who find our day, to-day lives a bit confusing.

It seems as though all things, have now been boiled down to, black and white, hot or cold, right or wrong. One might be inclined to think, having fewer choices would simplify things. You are either this or that, with no area in-between.  You would be wrong.

I can’t think of one thing in my life, which is not nuanced. All things have many shades, and can have many different ramifications upon, oh, so many people. What is good for one, will not necessarily be good for all.

When it comes to governance of our fellow citizens, this means the people we elect are charged with discovering the way forward, which benefits the nation as a whole, or a state, or a county, or a small town. It does not mean, those elected, are above reproach, and it certainly does not earn them unconditional loyalty.

Somewhere along the way, the American people have allowed themselves to be played the fool. We have allowed the media, and those elected in some cases, to convince us we are in a life and death struggle for the future of this nation. And this struggle is not necessarily with an agent from without.

As a conservative, I have been told without end, the greatest danger facing this nation, is the Democrat Party, and likewise, progressives spend any amount of time needed, convincing their base, it is the GOP which seeks to destroy this Grand Experiment.

We as American citizens, have allowed ourselves to be divided. We have bought into the idea of all or nothing, and that simply by having this party or that party win, will somehow solve all our problems. Depending on which side of the fence you are standing on.

This goes against the very founding principles of this nation. Our Founders came together, bringing widely different viewpoints on the challenges, of becoming and maintaining a new nation. They were able to come to an agreement, which surely did not please everyone, but which has allowed this nation to stand for over two-hundred years.

Just look at Article I, sec.2 of the U.S. Constitution, these men, who came from the North and the South, were able to come to an agreement to recognize slaves, as 3/5th of a person. Of course, looked at through the prism of todays moral standards, this seems archaic, and it is. However, looked at  through the prism of that time, it was radical. It put this nation on the path towards ending slavery. Compromise, for the sake of the nation.

We have lost the ideal, of something larger than ourselves, and self-interest. We have lost the ability, to look at anything objectively, with even the least amount of intellectual curiosity. If a person dares to ponder beyond a party agenda, or so-called party principles, they are instantly challenged as a “TRAITOR”!, to the cause. 

Heaven forbid, a person dares to be critical, of an elected official of their chosen party, with which they disagree, they are seen as a “HERETIC “, and shunned, from the new political theological sect of, “The Church of the Self Proclaimed”. 

We are seeing this political disease permeate every aspect of our lives. We can’t like this singer or that actor, because they have expressed their political view points, and those views are counter to my own. I don’t care if their music moves my very soul, or if their acting is highly entertaining. If their political views are different from my own, then I must denounce them, and also renounce any product they are involved in.

We have come to a place, where, we believe, certain segments of our society, based on their career choices, are not entitled, nay, are not endowed, with the very same unalienable rights, with which we ourselves are endowed. We tell them to shut up and sing, we didn’t pay to hear you talk politics, we tell them to play ball, and keep your views to yourself. The Church of the Self Proclaimed, has ordained itself, with the power of determining who is right and who is wrong, and there is no discussion, there is no  seeking  of common ground, it is black or white, hot or cold, wrong or right.

Every individual, has a right to self-expression. They have the right to risk their very livelihood and all they have spent their lives working for. In the case of celebrities, they risk alienating the very people who buy their products. That is their right. It is also the right of the consumer to choose not to buy those products, thus sending their message in return.

I have no problem with individuals peacefully exercising their right of freedom of speech. I have no problem, with people peacefully responding. However, like all things, it is when government, and its elected representatives get involved, that things go too far, that government over-reaches its boundaries.

The Colin Kaepernick story won’t go away. This young man, who most likely spent his youth playing and practicing and training for football, who went to college and played football, who obtained, what so many long for, and so few achieve, he was a starting quarterback in the NFL. Who could have simply lived his life quietly, as even a backup quarterback, comfortably for the rest of his life,  but chose to take a controversial, and costly path. He saw, what he felt  was an injustice, and chose to use his position, even at the risk of losing that position, to draw attention to this perceived injustice.

Agree, or disagree with his perception of an injustice, we should all be able to intellectually admit, it took a great deal of courage, for him to  give up his entire life for his principles. How many of us, have that courage?

This story has now moved beyond individuals. Kaepernick made his choice as an individual, and many NFL fans have made theirs to stop watching the sport. Even as Kaepernick has been effectively removed from the game, either due to his skill level, or as a response to his protest. Though, the fans, and the League have removed the icon of the protest, the protest has grown in the number of NFL players taking part. We are also now seeing high-school players supporting the protest. The act of pushing back against Kaepernick in a personal fashion, rather than an intellectual fashion, has angered some, and given rise to greater protest.

Notice, the conversation is no longer about the injustice, for which Kaepernick was originally protesting, the conversation, is now solely about whether or not he should be allowed to protest in this manner. This is either a tactic, to distract from the real issue, or, it is a prime example of uninformed people being led around by the nose. Or both.

We are told, by certain segments of our political society, the protest, is a direct attack on the military. That it insults the sacrifice the men and women who have served to defend this nation. And in a way, they would be right. I mean just look at the song. It is about a battle for a fort, in the War of 1812. And if you look at its early use, it was a military song. In 1930, the Veterans of Foreign Wars petitioned to have it recognized as the official national anthem.

So what? All this tells me, is this song may not be representative of the nation as a whole. Possibly America the Beautiful would have been more appropriate, as it too was used in many cases, along with others at official events. The Star Spangled Banner was chosen as the official anthem in 1930, a time not so far gone, from our involvement in WWI, and not so removed from the coming of WWII. The world was in a place of militaristic build up, and a nationalistic mind-set.

It seems we are once again in a nationalistic mind-set. We have come to a place, wherein any decent from the majority view is labeled anti-American. Or worse, anti-military. We have, since 9/11, and the resulting military conflicts, moved beyond gratefulness, for the service of the military, and the police, and the first-responders, to a point of placing them upon an unattainable pedestal.

Let me say, I have nothing but gratitude, for those who have gone before, those who currently serve, and those who will decide, in the face of unknown danger, to wear the uniform of the U.S. Military, police officers, and those who risk their lives, to save those of others.

But we do these brave men and women a disservice, when we attach the illusion of godliness, little g, upon them. They are humans beings, they are flawed, and they are liable to mistakes the same as we all are. This godliness is now used to end all conversations when possible. If you don’t stand for the National Anthem, you are disrespecting the military. If you feel the police are in some cases racist, and that the justice system can be biased, then you are anti-police.

  WRONG!

What you are, is an American citizen, and hopefully a thinking citizen. And more importantly, a citizen who has the capability, to allow your fellow citizens, to express their views, in the hopes, we can find that common ground on the tough issues, like recognizing slaves as 3/5th a person. 

Our current President, has chosen to weigh in on the topic of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, I guess that whole North Korean thing is taken care of, so the leader for the free world can worry about football. He once again demonstrated his total lack of respect for the office he holds in his comments at a rally, where he attacked the NFL.

President Trump stated, that players who kneel during the Anthem, should be fired, that NFL owners should say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!” Sounds sadly familiar, doesn’t it?

The “President” also encouraged a boycott of the NFL until things “change”.  

Is this the role, of the President of the United States of America? To demand that people be fired for their views? To pick winners and losers? Let us not forget, Donald Trump was instrumental in the establishment of, and the failure of the USFL. It was Donald Trump who pushed for the USFL to move their schedule in direct competition with the NFL, and led to the complete failure of that league. Could this be his attempted revenge?

I commend the NFL, and the players who participate in these protest, not because I agree with all of their views on the real issue, but for standing up against a President, who represents the worse kind of intolerance, the intolerance of the rights of others.

The office of the POTUS, should not be calling for the firing of those participating, it should be shouting for the protection of their rights. Agree or disagree.

“President” Trump, has stated, these players should be fired for disrespecting the flag, the anthem, the military, and the very nation, based on their actions. I would say, if “President” Trump wants to hold these players to that standard, then he too, should be held to that standard. Personally, I feel his behavior, his language, his abuse of the office of POTUS, his disrespect of those, who fought for our freedoms, by having the Commander-in-Chief, behaving in such an un-American manner, should be held  accountable as well.

Expect to see more players participate, and expect the NFL to stand behind them. Because unless you didn’t notice, the real issue is race, and the NFL cannot survive without its minority players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments on "What In The Hell Are We Doing?"

  1. delacrat says:

    ” ‘President’ Trump, has stated, these players should be fired…”

    That’s what you’d expect of someone who has always been an Amerikan boss. Cuz in Amerika, if you don’t get with the boss’ politics, s/he can fire at-will, for any reason or no reason, the First Amendment be damned.

  2. Mike says:

    I was listening to an endless stream of talk radio yesterday and kept hearing people making the “brilliant” suggestion that before each game a minute or two be “set aside” so that these players can make their protest separate from the anthem, and the teams could raise public awareness about the policing issues that divide the country. This way ticket holders wouldn’t have to be offended by the players anthem-protest and it would be a win-win because the teams would be providing valuable public information.

    Barf! Seriously…there is nothing dumber than a scripted protest. Please! a two minute PSA on “community policing and sensitivity” is now going to blasted over the jumbotron so everyone can leave the game just a bit smarted and more sensitive to these issues. Ugh!

    When people protest, feelings get hurt, sensibilities get rocked, and if you disagree you get angry. I personally think one of the bedrock elements of our country’s culture is the belief that allowing people wide latitude to protest is better than the alternative.

  3. mouse says:

    There’s a Master’s thesis for someone looking at how long some topics get rolled around right wing media..

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