September 24, 2017

Trump in Transition (v21)

I keep thinking that I'm going to be able to retire the TiT theme; after all, Trump's been president for a few days over eight months now.   Shouldn't he be done transitioning from a blowhard NYC real estate developing, serial bullying, failed reality TV show hosting, crowd-counting, name-calling, frequently golfing, constantly rallying, Hollywood elitist (with a bought-and-paid-for star on the Walk of Fame to prove it) who uses the government to pad the coffers of his family business by now? 

The last time I did a post in this theme was when Trump talked with his generals and decided that everyone else's transgender people shouldn't be allowed to serve our country because they were too expensive from a healthcare perspective - which, of course, was a complete lie, as are many of Trump's declarations. Screw your patriotism, you volunteers who stood up to defend our country. We don't need you, we don't want you, you cannot serve. Screw you.

And once again, Trump is on the 'screw your patriotism' bandwagon with his latest pronouncement that the NFL should fire anyone who does not stand for the national anthem. And, by extension, that Colin Kaepernick should continue to be unemployed. 

As a private individual, using his personal @RealDonaldTrump account, not his official @POTUS account,  Trump has been vocal on this subject for the past couple of days:
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect...
...our great American Flag (or Country), and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED! Find something else to do.
Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our Country. Tell them to stand!
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place. Fire or Suspend!
...NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games, yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.
Those SONSOFBITCHES, they out to be FIRED! And we should BOYCOTT! And the NFL owners are FRIENDS OF HIS, dammit! And bloodthirsty supporters in Alabama LOVED what he said, yessiree they did! He's the PRESIDENT and don't you FORGET IT!  #AMERICAFIRSTGODDAMMIT! And those players, they're paid with TAXPAYER DOLLARS! And SCREW THE FIRST AMENDMENT! And SCREW YOU, black athletes! And SCREW YOU STEPH CURRY even though you play with a round ball not one of those funny ones! Just SCREW YOU!

And I JUMPED UP and SCREAMED JUST LIKE HOWARD DEAN!!!

No, really, I just sat here for a moment, after catching my breath - for that was quite the explosion of capital letters and exclamation points!  And, I thought, it's SAD (quoting the president, here).

 It's sad that he feels his personal patriotism, and the well-being of our country, are threatened by some athletes behaving differently, but respectfully, during the national anthem. 

It's sad that the president, who is divisive both in his own language and his administration's policies, seems to think that Americans need to be in lockstep in order to, well, be Americans. Will we be receiving national uniforms? Holding parades along the inauguration route? Are we going to have to learn a special salute? I'm willing to start now, I guess, or should we wait until the patriotic pictures are painted on buildings across the land?

I last stood for the national anthem (because that's what I was taught to do), last Friday night, at the symphony. Only at the first concert of the series do we get to hear the orchestra play it; they don't at every single performance. The audience, which trends older, sings along, and claps when it's over - not with a stanza or two to go, but when it's actually over. I assume anyone who was able stood, but I don't worry about whether they did or not, and I'm sure no one was waiting, pen and notepad ready, to take down the seat numbers of people who didn't and kick the out of the hall. 

I don't mind the kneeling or the raised fists. I mind the drunken shouting that passes for acceptable patriotism in stadiums and arenas across the land much more than I do the protests. My husband is not a fan of the kneeling, so much, but a raised fist doesn't bother him. 

Do I feel threatened, as our still-transitioning president appears to, by people who are willing to take a stand on a very public stage? 

Hardly. Truth be told, I'm encouraged by their actions, and by their patriotism
  • It IS patriotic to question your country and actions taken on her behalf by people in positions of authority.
  • It IS patriotic to ask your country to be better, to do better.  
  • It IS patriotic to ask your country to take a hard look in the mirror, and to try and think differently about things. 
  • It IS patriotic to ask others to consider doing these things, too. 
It's much more patriotic to do that than it is to stand, drunkenly or soberly, with or without removing your hat, with or without placing your hand on your heart, in a stadium shouting over the national anthem.

It's significantly more patriotic to do that, than to have an American flag waving between your cab and the trailer you're hauling, like the guy I saw on the NYS Thruway last week. The flag was in despicable condition - filthy dirty, gray with soot and road dirt, stained, the colors barely discernible. The ends were shredded; perhaps as much as a third of it had gone into the wind, and it was torn in several spots where the stripes were sewn together. It looked like something you'd find in a dumpster, to be honest. But the truck driver sure is patriotic - he's displaying the FLAG!

It's also a whole helluva lot more patriotic than standing on the world stage engaging in a third-grade, name-calling pissing match with foreign leaders, which is how president Trump spent the rest of last week.

Yeah, it's too early to retire this theme.

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