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NFL Players Protest the National Anthem. So What?

kneeling

Since there are people who get so emotional over pieces of cloth waving in the wind and the way in which others perceive it, why not just do the national anthem at the start of the season for the first games? If some people protest, fine. If others don’t, fine. That way, the race-baiting, victim mentality snowflakes can have their fun, while the flag-worshiping, subservient snowflakes can walk around in red, white and blue high-fiving one another. Why the need to go through the whole ritual EVERY game? We get it. We know we’re in America, the world-dominating empire with unprecedented military power that all must bow down to or else (but does it need to be done every single game?).

While I disagree with the reasons or ways in which players are protesting, I don’t hold to the sensitive feelings about the flag and anthem that people so offended by protesting them do. We all have our own different, subjective interpretations of the same symbols. To me, the flag represents the federal government, its endless wars, ever increasing taxation, devaluing of the dollar, over-regulation, erosion of civil liberties, etc., so I have no amorous feelings toward it. I prefer the Gadsden, anarcho-capitalist, and Sons of Liberty flags to Old Glory, but if you burned any of these, I wouldn’t care unless they were my private property. Despite what I may think about them, they’re just inanimate objects onto which I project subjective meaning.

It’s interesting to me that the affection for national, federal symbols, like flags and anthems, and the subsequent ridicule of those who reject or hold less-than-holy interpretations of them didn’t become the norm until the proto-fascists in the late 1800’s clamored for it. American nationalism rose after the Civil War in large part as a way to supplanting the anti-federalist idea of states being individual sovereign nations for the antithetical idea that there is only one nation – the federal United State. Oddly enough, prior to the 1940’s, opportunistic busybodies pushed to have a flag in every classroom for nationalist indoctrination and introduced the Pledge of Allegiance using a salute very similar to the one Nazis later adopted. FDR eventually had this changed to the hand over the heart gesture to distinguish the salute and himself from Nazism. Native Americans, business owners, the US government and military used swastikas as symbols to represent themselves before it became a vilified symbol synonymous with Nazism and shunned by nearly everyone. Unsurprisingly, Hitler initially admired the fascist FDR for his nationalization of industry, expansion of the welfare State and emphasis of the “public good” over individual civil liberties. The consolidation of federal power in America during a time of turmoil was an inspiration for Hitler and Nazi Germany. Example:

[Hitler] “told American ambassador William Dodd that he was ‘in accord with the President in the view that the virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice, and discipline should dominate the entire people. These moral demands which the President places before every individual citizen of the United States are also the quintessence of the German state philosophy, which finds its expression in the slogan “The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual.” A New Order in both countries had replaced an antiquated emphasis on rights. (https://goo.gl/7jVpRP)

America, despite its shortcomings, went from a beacon of decentralization, individual effort and free markets to a fascist empire welfare state that influenced other nations to follow suit. Since then, its inhabitants have turned into a bunch of government-loving pansies more concerned with identifying with things like celebrity opinion, politicians, national symbols and skin color than actually being and thinking as individuals. Never mind that symbols may fluctuate back and forth between being acceptable and vilifiable; what matters is the emotional attachment in the present moment. What is considered “patriotic” today would have been seen as worth tarring and feathering during the time of the Founding Fathers. If alive today, Adams, Franklin, Jefferson and Payne would be considered unpatriotic and unamerican by the same people who pledge allegiance to inanimate federal symbols.

I understand. You, your son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, father, mother, grandfather, etc. enlisted to defend America and that’s what the flag represents to you, but just because someone willingly chose to enlist, for any noble reason, and became cannon fodder in foreign lands in order to carry out horrible foreign policy doesn’t mean I have to somehow close my eyes and make believe that America currently defends “freedom” and any symbol related to this endeavor is off limits. I have much sympathy for soldiers preyed upon by recruiters and those too young and ignorant of their fate under American foreign policy, but I despise the war hawking military brass and political elite sending these young men and women off to die for their own riches and legacies.

The adage “I may disagree with you, but I will defend your right to say it,” has become, “I disagree with you and you should lose your job, be ostracized and possibly assaulted for disagreeing with me.”

Rome didn’t collapse in a day.

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