Mr. President: Pouring gasoline on a fire is a poor means of extinguishing it

I look at the above tweets and two things come immediately to mind:

1) Donald Trump is a truly insufferable and miserable excuse for a human being, utterly devoid of compassion and intolerant of dissent. This is how democracy dies and fascism comes to be the defining feature of the Brave New World Order.

2) It would seem the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to professional athletes. Their job is to entertain, and they can practice free speech and expression “on their own time.” They should know their place and keep to it (of course, the fact that most professional basketball and football players are African-American is apropos of nothing).

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Donald Trump says National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest.

In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less violent.

“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.

Several athletes, including NFL players, have refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest of the treatment of blacks by police.

Trump says those players are disrespecting the flag and deserve to lose their jobs.

Until yesterday, it was beginning to appear as if the controversy over athletes refusing to stand during the national anthem was beginning to subside. Then Donald Trump decided to wade in guns blazing…and stupidly managed to rekindle the controversy.

It would be easy, and spot on, to call the President a fool, but that would be too kind and wouldn’t fully capture the depth of his ignorance and arrogance. Instead of attempting to understand the viewpoints involved in the debate, he decided that only one point of view mattered- his own. Instead of tolerating Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights, he made it clear he feels professional athletes have no free speech rights when they’re between the lines. They should shut up and play. Their role is to entertain; they can enjoy their right to free speech and expression when the game is over.

Trump is certainly free to his opinions and the expression of them; those are HIS 1st Amendment rights. No American, not even a sitting President, has the right to tell other Americans what they can or cannot say and/or when they may say it. Given his overt racism- something he’s made crystal clear on numerous occasions- it’s different to see this as anything but “The darkies need to shut up and play.” It’s an unAmerican and anti-democratic attempt to deny a basic constitutional right to a class of Americans.

Sixty-three million Americans voted for a racist prone to giving free reign to his darker angels…and they own this- lock, stock, and barrel. Instead of being “a President for ALL Americans,” as he promised immediately after Election Day, he’s sticking to his “divide and conquer” strategy.

It’s what got him elected, after all.

Then there’s his apparent belief that athletes are interchangeable parts and that their health and well-being are secondary concerns to their “responsibility” to entertain. If they refuse to accept the risks, if they’re not willing to put their health (and perhaps even lives) on the line to entertain Americans, they should step aside.

This from a man who’s never experienced the “thrill” of being concussed from a blind-side tackle, who’s never spent a moment dealing with the aftereffects of a traumatic brain injury. He extolls a game in which men leaving the field wobbly from a big hit is a good thing. In the same way he associates himself with the heroism of our men and women in uniform (despite his draft dodging), he revels in the violence and carnage of a game which can exact a considerable and durable toll on those who play it.

The President is a coward and a hypocrite with no regard for those he deems expendable. I could go on at some considerable length about this topic, but his lack of regard for player health and safety is worthy of an entirely separate discussion.

If nothing else, yesterday’s sorry performance should serve as abject proof of Trump’s racism and lack of compassion. A President is normally expected to work toward uniting America, in order that we might move forward together. Instead, his “divide and conquer” strategy has but one purpose- the aggregation and maintenance of political power. A convincing argument could be made that he’s this generation’s narcissistic iteration of Benito Mussolini. At the very least, he’s revealed himself to be a cruel, heartless despot incapable of compassion, kindness, and consideration.

Nice work, America.

1 thought on “Mr. President: Pouring gasoline on a fire is a poor means of extinguishing it

  1. M. Douglas Wray

    Spot on Jack. Thanks for saying it. I hope we see thousands protesting by taking a knee or sitting during the anthem. The USA is in BAD TROUBLE and we need to lance the diseased boil on our ass SOON!


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