Times change. As I approach 70, I shake my head in wonder at the shenanigans of my fellow Americans who insist on treading on the sensitivities of folks who do not share their viewpoint. I vividly recall my folks response to a display of temper or aberrant behavior when we were in a public setting. When one of them would look at one of us and announce “we are going to the car”, trust me when I tell you I that our behavior had crossed the line and the time for a swift and painful attitude adjustment was at hand. With rare exception, assertive discipline has all but disappeared today, and we are often forced to watch a child scream, defy and tantrum his or her way into having their way while exasperated parents beg and cajole in an attempt to reduce the impact of the scene that is unfolding. This same child is then ushered off to school, knowing full well they can bully their way into having their way, resulting in long days for our educators who are charged with introducing them to civility. This my friends, is exactly what is happening with atheletes today who are making fools out of themselves with their display of contempt for the flag and our National Anthem.
The suggestion that kneeling during an accepted American ritual or defacing or dishonoring our flag is somehow related to the alleged brutality of our police forces toward black Americans totally lacks logical merit. I would suggest that if you take the time to analyze the entire ridiculous wave of social protest resulting in the demands for the destruction of statues representing our history as a nation, along with the equally ridiculous kneeling trend by our athletes, you will quickly come to the conclusion it is time “to go to the car”. It really isn’t about contempt for the flag or the National Anthem, it is as simple as the very public extension of a prominent middle finger at the heart of America, a currently popular display of contrived anger and contempt for the greatest country on the face of the earth. Just like the kid who is thrashing about on the floor at Wal-Mart because he or she is denied some useless Chinese manufactured trinket, causing the parent to recoil in horror and angst, we seem powerless to do what is necessary and take the child “to the car”.
The flag and anthem are special. They are the essence of patriotism and to virtually every American are symbolic of the strength of America and the price paid for that strength in blood and sacrifice on a very personal level. The folks who are on a tear, demanding the destruction of statuary, trampling and burning the flag and kneeling during the pregame ritual that honors this great republic know full well they are mightily offending the vast majority of us. That is why they do it. The lessons of history are lost to these individuals who majored in the art of bench presses and sprints, whose very being is centered around their ability to wreak havoc on an opponent in purely physical terms. They live in a world of physical domination and, in a lesson taught to America by none other than Ho Chi Minh, know there is strength in numbers. As a result they have linked arms, like the children previously mentioned, bullied their way into our living rooms, and delight in provoking the anger of most of America. It is time for a trip to the car, and the angry parent is the American people. Just as the child will test the mettle of a parent, these folks will test the mettle of American leadership on every level. Thus far, we have capitulated to their nonsense which will only lead to the next extension of the middle finger in our faces. Sometimes, a trip to the car is the only answer.
As a final thought, while hours in the gym have left these players with little time to contemplate history and it’s significance, it might be of interest to them that a carefully folded flag has been exchanged for the lives of some 1,354,664 Americans who have died in combat thus guaranteeing the continued success of America in the future. This includes an estimated 364,500 soldiers who died under the Stars and Stripes, serving in the Union Army, with a goal of uniting this country and abolishing slavery forever. My position is unequivocal, protest and raise hell until you are exhausted, just don’t do it while we are honoring our country. If only your parents would have taken you to the car……..