As I See It: On the sidelines
Who would have predicted that the activities on the sidelines before National Football League games would gain as much or more attention than the games themselves?
I listened to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's news conference a few weeks ago and was saddened by the Percival Milquetoast words and stumbling pas-de-deux as he tried to explain away the controversy of some players not standing during the playing of the national anthem. I think he mentioned that the number of players not standing was small - eight or 10 - which shows he must not even be watching his league's games or the coverage from all the salivating news organizations.
What disturbed me even more were his veiled implications that this controversy is somehow a result of the reaction of some fans not understanding the players' motives and not the league or its members. He kept making references to working in the communities, working with the communities, making communities better.
While admitting that all players should stand, they will not be forced to stand. If he had the leadership qualities one would expect of someone in his position, he might be able to convince the players to show the proper respect to the nation as symbolized in its flag and anthem.
But this is really not the core of this issue. As we so often do, we are focused on symptoms while the disease is spreading like an epidemic. Now there are people taking a knee while the Pledge of Allegiance is said before public meetings. Would that we were all smart enough to pray during this insanity.
And it's not all "monkey see, monkey do." It's more our penchant to be brainwashed by whatever our national media presents to us.
The most recent hand wringing is over the loss of civility in the political process, and everyone is pointing a finger at President Trump. But again, he is but a symptom of our own dysfunction. We are in an era of mass delusion because we quash ideas, issues and positions that are right but unpopular; we can no longer handle the truth.
President Washington warned the nation about the dangers of political parties and the resulting inevitable divisions. Both the Bible and President Lincoln reminded us a house divided against itself cannot stand.
Of course, I imagine this is not part of the history/government curriculum in most public schools - if history is even in the curriculum.
The media is reporting and also decrying the lack of civility and the divisions almost with glee behind their practiced, furrowed brows. The current political parties have been at each other's throats on nearly every major issue for the last 40-50 years.
How is it that the "great uniter" we were promised in 2007 ended up being the great divider who set the stage for our current president? Did we not elect both of them? Didn't "we" also elect Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, Debby Wasserman-Schultz, Ted Cruz, Diane Feinstein and so many others who are less than stellar practitioners of statesmanship?
Back to the sidelines for a moment. Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. A number of my ex-military friends and acquaintances have started their own grassroots movement to boycott all football on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend. That means watching, listening to or attending college and professional games so that the ratings will go down and this, coupled with the empty seats, may send a message that we are serious about the respect that is due the American flag and our national anthem.
You are cordially welcome to join us if you agree.
As I asked in previous columns, who will benefit - monetarily or otherwise - if the government and society of the United States implodes? Who is behind the scenes funding organizations dedicated to destroying our republic - flawed as it is - and dedicated to creating a socialist government for "our" benefit?
We are where we are as a result of a philosophy of individual freedom that ignores the need for individual responsibility to balance society and also because of all politicians who vote their self-interest instead of that of all the citizens.
Do I hear, "Time for term limits?!"
That's how I see it.