Well, here we go again. President Trump says something during a rally and everyone is up in arms. Half the country supports the NFL kneelers and half the country supports the President. Now everyone on social media, television, radio, and everywhere else are busy yelling at each other. Over the weekend when all of this madness was escalating there were really two main questions that ran through my mind and it’s not what most people were asking. Where does all this lead? What does all this accomplish?
While I do not like Trump’s lack of civility and vulgar language, I have to admit even I understand Trump’s sentiment when he calls out those disrespecting our flag and national anthem. This is another issue where people are acting like Trump is speaking out of a vacuum. Trump more often than not is merely reacting to things that are already going on. Players had been kneeling for the anthem long before Trump was even inaugurated. Trump was expressing a sentiment that he felt a lot of people in the country agreed with. But what is he trying to accomplish? Does this put forward any policy? Does this lead to anything constructive or is he just ginning up more hatred and division?
I could ask the same questions to Colin Kaepernick. Even if you buy into the premise that there is an epidemic of police brutality against blacks in this country (which I don’t), what does any of his protests actually accomplish? It’s one thing to be an activist and support a particular cause that you are passionate about, but did he really expect to get more people on his side by disrespecting something that so many people in this country cherish? Then he wears clothes that bashes cops and praises communists, and after that trashes the celebration of Independence Day and goes to Africa. I also never hear any solutions from Kaepernick. Does he support more police body cams? Does he want to reform the grand jury system? Is he calling for better police training? Who knows? It seems to me he is just another person in this country who wants to complain about it without offering anything constructive to better our future.
One of the beautiful things about America is it values individual liberty. This was enshrined through the Bill of Rights, especially in the First Amendment. Through that we were able to create a civil society where you could have different religious beliefs, political beliefs, skills, lifestyles, and choices without fear of violence or oppression. While we have not been perfect in that regard, we have made immeasurable progress in the past few decades. Now that all seems to be going away. We are at a point where we cannot peacefully disagree with each other.
Is all this leading to a civil war? I don’t know, but there is a COLD civil war going on in our country right now over the future of the American culture. We could all just react to the division by just insulting each other, protesting every weekend, punching each other in the streets, OR we could actually have a real conversation where we bring real solutions to the table. That is the only way will be able to actually accomplish anything. President Trump needs to show real leadership by rising above the noise, NFL Players like Kaepernick need to do better by not disrespecting the symbols of this great country that so many people love, and we all need to do better by stopping the anger, hatred, insults, and vulgarity that is littered all over social media. Stop just following the mob and think for yourself. If we don’t do better I really am worried about where all of this will lead.