- If you are angry about NFL players taking a quiet knee during the national anthem before the game, than you were about nazis in Charlottesville waving the flags of extinguished enemy nations, you are:
A. an idiot
B. an asshole
C. a charter member of Cult 45
D. all of the above
- If you insist that protesting during the anthem is the same as protesting against the anthem, and therefore "disrespectful,", but you were unconcerned about a presidential candidate taunting a tortured combat veteran and heckling a Gold Star family whose son was killed in combat, you are:
A. a moron
B. a liar
C. unclear on what the First Amendment actually means
D. all of the above
They seem unclear on what the First Amendment actually means, and what it entails. It is meaningless if it doesn't protect unpopular speech. It is useless if it does not allow nazis to march peacefully in a college town, or athletes to express their concerns in one of the few ways a black man in a culturally prominent role can get the attention of white people.
I don't want to hear anymore bullshit about "disrespect" from someone who talked shit about whether John McCain is a war hero or not. I've said it before, but let's do it once more: I've taken more than my share of pot-shots at Poor Ol' Straight Talk, especially when he summoned the Arctic Harpy as his running mate in '08 (probably by saying her name aloud five times in front of a bathroom mirror). But it was always about things he said or did in a political context.
The Vietnam War, the farther we get away from it, looms more and more as a moral catastrophe in the US' history, which is saying something. There's not much debate these days from any political position that it was strategically and morally indefensible in retrospect. And one might say something about the morality of dropping death from far above, frequently on defenseless rural villages.
But here's the deal: when McCain was shot down in his bomber, both arms and a leg were fractured. When the Vietnamese pulled McCain from his downed plane, they crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him. He was tortured for months before the Vietnamese decided to make a propaganda effort to release him, since McCain's father was the supreme Navy commander for the Pacific region. McCain refused to be released before officers that had been held longer; the enraged Vietnamese immediately re-broke both his arms, knocked out all his teeth, and tortured him mercilessly for months after. (David Foster Wallace describes all this and more in his famous essay Up, Simba, or you can read the rundown here.)
McCain certainly has plenty of faults -- he was a cocky, swaggering asshole who routinely endangered other pilots and shipmates, and after his release from the Hanoi Hilton, he treated his first wife horribly. And again, the war itself is and was morally irredeemable. However, none of those things detracts from the simple fact that McCain endured horrendous treatment that would break most of us, and much of that came after he conducted himself honorably by refusing early release from a literal torture chamber.
All of that occurred while Bone Spurs McHairpiece was going through his own "personal Vietnam" by supposedly fucking everything that moved within reach of him. For all of his flaws, John McCain has more honor and courage in the sweat on his droopy old-man balls, than Fuckface von Clownstick ever had in his entire miserable body.
So anyone who's taking that "disrespect" tack about professional athletes expressing their opinion about something that affects many of them on a very personal level, they can shove it up their ass, take it up with their disgrace of a "leader," a crazy old man who's still butt-hurt that the NFL refused to let him buy the Buffalo Bills, because he's a greasy shyster who never pays his fucking bills and screws over everyone who's dumb enough to do business with.