Before a friendly Friday night crowd in Alabama, President Trump weighed in the issue of Colin Kaepernick, and a few other professional athletes, taking a knee during the national anthem. The speech was supposedly to endorse Republican Senate candidate Lucifer . . . (oops Freudian slip) Luther Strange and Trump did a little of that. However, in typical Trump fashion he mostly just ranted. Trump ranted about how wonderful he (Trump not Strange) is, he ranted about the Russian “hoax,” he ranted about Republican Senator John McCain (again) and no Trump rant would be complete without the obligatory hateful rant against the media. He even ranted against the NFL trying to protect players from head injuries.
A Trump rant would also not be complete without the random selection of a minority to whip up the Alabama white crowd (most left their hoods at home). Last week it was ESPN sports caster Jemele Hill that was the target. Trump continued the sports theme going after serial knee taker Colin Kaepernick at the rally, and continuing via tweet against NBA Champion Warriors star Stephen Curry the following day.
With Kaepernick the President of the United jumped right into the gutter declaring:
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, he’s fired?’
Yes, that was really said by our President. The same President, who in regards to torch bearing Nazis chanting jew hating slogans, said there’s “some very fine people” on both sides while expressing support for the underlying cause of the Nazis. The one who defends Confederate statues of men who actually committed treason against the United States. That guy.
Just to make sure he really meant it he followed up with a pair of double down tweets.
Trump’s “son of a bitch” comment is going to produce results. Just not the results he wants.
Result #1: Trump Has Just Legitimized Taking A Knee For The Anthem.
Those taking a knee previously were marginalized and mostly despised. Trump just made them martyrs and heroes. The President’s words now mean that taking a knee during the National Anthem is an act of defiance against this unpopular President. The President has Trumpanized the issue.
Put simply, starting this Sunday, taking a knee is no longer disrespecting the country, it’s about disrespecting Trump. It’s no longer about the flag, patriotism or loving this country. Taking a knee means defying Trump. By necessary inverse corollary, standing means you are making a statement in favor of Trump. There will be lots of people who don’t want to do that. Leave it to Trump to make patriotism hateful.
It’s no longer about the Anthem, it’s about Trump. I see future slogans developing, such as “take a knee against Trump” and “don’t stand with Trump.” Trump, as usual, made this all about him. That is something not good for national unity, not good for the continued common valuing of national anthem, and not good for respecting our flag.
Result #2: Calling People “Son Of A Bitch” Is Now Legitimate Political Discourse.
A message to Trump supporters here. You may no longer whine that someone is disrespecting the office by calling the President a “son of a bitch.” The President does not get to debase the office by using that term against others and then claim some sort of high office granted immunity to it being used against him.
The son of a bitch is no longer entitled that.