taking a knee

It’s become popular among some Republicans to claim Comrade Trump isn’t really a Republican at all. They act like he’s some sort of chimera — a semi-mystical, implausible synthesis of disparate bits of different animals. Part liberal, part conservative, part patriot, part iconoclast, part traditional, part unconventional, part who the fuck knows. A new type of politician, they say.

Bullshit. Trump is the distillation of everything the Republican party has become in the last couple of decades. He’s selfish, self-centered, cruel, mean-spirited, fearful of anything different, completely unscrupulous, alienated from reality, dismissive of science, contemptuous of facts, mercenary, fundamentally dishonest, sneering, arrogant, judgmental, and too privileged to give a shit about anybody or anything that isn’t useful to him.

In brief, Trump is an asshole. Over the last couple of decades the Republican party has gradually shed any semblance of a conservative philosophy of governance and replaced it with being an asshole. You want to know what the Republican position is on any given policy? Ask yourself this: ‘What would an asshole do in this situation?’ The environment? More coal, fewer regulations. Epidemic of gun violence? More guns, fewer regulations. Healthcare? More regulations, fewer people insured.

This is what you can expect from the president when the president is an asshole. Free speech? Call NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem ‘sons of bitches’ who disrespect the nation, and encourage owners to fire them.

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,’

You have torch-toting nazis marching at night in an American city? An asshole would say there are some “very fine people” among them. A football player who takes a knee during the national anthem to protest violence against African-Americans?  An asshole would call that “total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”

Because all of those football players are paid huge amounts of money to entertain the public, assholes will claim they should keep their political opinions to themselves. Because most of them are black, assholes will feel victimized by that exercise of free speech while at the same time complaining to other assholes that the players are being uppity.

But here’s a true thing about assholes: they polarize people. Today there are probably folks — standard NFL fans — who were maybe mildly offended by the decision of players to take a knee, who are now applauding the practice. Today there are probably folks who don’t care at all about professional sports who are appending #takeaknee to their social media posts. Today there are probably folks who are supporting the ‘take a knee’ movement NOT because they agree with it, but just because they’re just fed up with having an asshole for a president.

By the way, those NFL players? Some of them are assholes too. But a LOT of them, even though they’re making obscene amounts of money, are also showing up at soup kitchens, they’re standing up against bullying, they’re helping with flood relief, they’re raising and donating money to hurricane victims, they’re supporting research to cure diseases, they’re fighting homelessness, they’re actually out there doing stuff for their communities while assholes are sitting at home and complaining.

Let me also say this, since I come from a military family rather than a sports family. In the military ‘take a knee’ means to take an immediate break, right where you are, because you’re just fucking exhausted. It’s a moment — and only a moment, which is why you’re only taking a knee — to stop, catch your breath, allow your sore muscles to relax, and consider what to do next.

I think this whole nation needs to take a knee.

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29 thoughts on “taking a knee

  1. Pingback: Very well said. | cornfedcontessa

  2. Thanks. Well put, and I love the analogy with the military. (P.S. I heard today–which means it may be true–that the “tradition” of the players standing for the national anthem began all the way back in 2009. Before then, they mostly stayed in the locker room until the anthem was over, and then they took to the field. I wonder what their detractors would say if they just stopped showing up. Again. THAT would be tradition.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Two teams stayed in the locker room on Sunday – the Steelers and Seahawks. That, too, is being frowned up. One vet on the Steelers, who has done three tours, came out to stand in the tunnel and put his hand on his heart. Apparently, his teammate is now upset with him because he “didn’t do what he team did.” This teammate, is NOT a vet with three tours under his boots….

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      • I don’t think any team needs to be unified. They just need to respect the decisions made by their teammates. Stand, kneel, hand over heart, stay in the locker room, it’s all perfectly fine.

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  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “In the military, ‘taking a knee’ means to take a break, right where you are because you’re exhausted … stop, catch your breath, relax, consider what to do next.”
    Yes, agree … that his whole nation needs to take a knee!
    #TakeAKnee …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are so many points of view flying around now, I’m beginning to thing the genesis of this whole thing (injustice) is being forgotten. These folks aren’t doing this to be disrespectful, they are trying to raise awareness. At least that’s my take. I’m also not sure I see how taking a knee is disrespecting the flag. I think I was at a BBQ this summer and someone had paper plates and napkins imprinted with the American Flag. I had to put my ribs, cornbread and slaw on that, and then wipe my mouth with it. But, you know, that’s not an issue.

    Liked by 3 people

      • bullshit…Kaepernick is now a practicing Muslim and his Girlfriend is a militant Muslim who is a leader of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Colin ironically became very militant because of his girlfriend. In fact, it can be said that his girlfriend cost him a job with the Ravens when the day after discussions about a job with the Ravens, his girlfriend commented that Ray Lewis was like a slave owned by the Ravens owner. Obviously after this, the Ravens owner declined to offer Colin a job. Colin also wore socks to a game with cops depicted as Pigs going against the NFL’s uniform policy. Colin is not a Christian, he is a Malcolm X wanna be and someone who hates the country he lives in. He also has turned his back on his own parents in favor of his relationship with his Muslim activists girlfriend. The same White parents that adopted him and raised him with love and care as a Christian!

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      • Some of that is accurate. His girlfriend is certainly a Muslim. Kaepernick says he’s not; he maintains he is still a Christian. I see no reason to think he’s lying. As far as that goes, I’m not sure that it matters. Muslims can be just as patriotic as Christians or Jews or Buddhists.

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  5. “You want to know what the Republican position is on any given policy? Ask yourself this: ‘What would an asshole do in this situation?’””

    You had me rolling on the ground with that one. 😂

    I’ve been in a 3-day battle with conservatives over on my Facebook account over this one (and I wrote my latest article about it,too http://www.tombeingtom.com/national-anthem-protests/), and it’s gotten pretty heated. I stand behind these guys, for the same reasons that you do.

    Trump stands against them, not for any ideology (I’d say), but to once again rally that scared, white base of his. He’s become a master at stirring that up. For distraction? Who can say. But I have a hard time believing it’s from his own heart. He just relishes the role of asshole.

    Good write-up, Greg!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think Trump actually has any solid ideology. I don’t think he’s trying to distract the nation from all his other shit; I think he’s just distracting himself, because he hates having to do the work of being president.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Back 60’s before Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, Trump’s nest of confederate flag waving ninnies called themselves Dixiecrats.

    The making of ‘President Trump’ began when Dixiecrats joined the GOP.

    The GOP ‘broadened’ its base with racist code words and appeals to states rights; the result: a radical political party of white supremacists who have no loyalty to the founding principles of the Republic; who are perfectly comfortable with selling us out to Vladimir Putin.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Very well stated. I never missed the point that they are not being disrespectful of the flag, or their country. They are just kneeling to increase awareness. Trump’s plan back-fired, there are now hundreds on their knee. Maybe, we all should be. Thanks for this one.

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    • Patriotism that goes no deeper than pride in a flag is pretty shallow patriotism. Patriotism that ignores prejudice and the systemic marginalization of a large proportion of the citizenry is pretty shallow patriotism. Patriotism that interprets peaceful protest against racism as an ‘insult’ is pretty shallow patriotism.

      Patriotism includes calling attention to a nation’s problems so those problems can be fixed.

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  8. OMG..I agree with a lot of your points but GEEZ..Everyone is SO out of control including YOU..we don’t make progress by name calling and mass judgement. To do this you are just as guilty as the people who you are name calling. Our society is deteriorating where all social mores, the tolerance and classy conduct in virtually non-existent. Where is the heart, where is the class, where is the ‘conversation’, where is the place where we can agree to disagree?

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    • you are just as guilty as the people who you are name calling.

      I’m assuming that by ‘name calling’ you’re referring to my statement that Donald Trump is “selfish, self-centered, cruel, mean-spirited, fearful of anything different, completely unscrupulous, alienated from reality, dismissive of science, contemptuous of facts, mercenary, fundamentally dishonest, sneering, arrogant, judgmental, and too privileged to give a shit about anybody or anything that isn’t useful to him.”

      I think that’s an accurate assessment of his character. If there’s something in that long list you disagree with, please feel free to dispute it.

      Here’s the thing: tolerance HAS to be applied equally, otherwise it doesn’t work. If you’re going to be tolerant of nazis marching and chanting racist slogans (and by the way, I totally defend the right of nazis to do that) then you also have to be tolerant of NFL players quietly taking a knee during the national anthem.

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      • Totally agree with regard to Trump he at times does not speak well at all and can be very divisive, but you insult the whole Republican party with this statement…”You want to know what the Republican position is on any given policy? Ask yourself this: ‘What would an asshole do in this situation?’ The environment? More coal, fewer regulations. Epidemic of gun violence? More guns, fewer regulations. Healthcare? More regulations, fewer people insured.”

        This is what I have a problem with. This is what is causing our whole society to break apart. It is so tunnel vision and one sided. Everyone needs to be more open minded not more opinionated!

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      • Sorry, but over the last couple of decades the GOP has abandoned its conservative principles. They’ve run the moderates out of the party, they’ve become science contrarians, they’ve embraced corporatism, they’ve dismissed the entire notion of compromise and bipartisan governance, and they’ve ceased to pay anything but lip service to honesty.

        There used to be principled conservatives that I disagreed with but respected. Now the GOP is largely comprised of angry white folks whose only policy is to oppose anything they think will offend liberals.

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