Buffalo Bills players take a knee during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes) Buffalo Bills players take a knee during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Americans seem to have a hard time coping with getting what they want. Example: Target Inc. changed their bathroom policy, and straight, non-trans males with axes to grind started using the women’s bathroom to prove a point. Some made videos. Supporters of Target were outraged at this abuse of policy. But was it abuse? People were using the bathroom free of the constraints of gender, isn’t that what they wanted?

Then there’s the NFL players who are taking a knee, and their supporters on social media. They are angry about President Trump tweeting about them. Why? This is what you wanted, isn’t it? National attention, a huge clash of points of view? What do liberals always pine for? Oh right, a “national conversation.” Well … you’ve got one.

Now that you have it, wouldn’t it be logical to talk about your issue? The one that was the reason Colin Kaepernick gave for starting this protest in the first place? I would think that. I would think “well, I’ve got the mic now, so I can talk about this thing that is the reason why I even did this.” But of course, that’s not what people are talking about, is it? Instead it’s all about Trump.

How dare Trump tweet? How dare he hate protests? How dare he think people should be fired?

What a wasted moment.

Trump controversies are nine cents a dozen (market devaluation). You can’t make a movement out of “Trump tweeted at us.” But that seems to be what liberals want. Look at this dumb tweet:

rothkopf

It appears to have been deleted. I don’t know why, but if I had to guess it would be that someone said appropriation or intersectionality or some other buzzword at him. Or maybe he just realized how dumb an idea it was.

In any case, whether Kaepernick intended it or not, it’s about Trump, now. Not because he tweeted, but because so many of the others who decided not to honor the flag or the anthem today did so in protest of Trump instead of, say, police shootings or the racists in Charlottesville or, you know, an issue. Or at the very least, that is how the media and social media are portraying them.

Yes, yes, to the one democrat or liberal activist who accidentally reads this, I know your reply will be “Trump is part of the problem” or something like that, but he’s not the problem, right? I mean the issue itself is the issue. You understand that, yes? The actual issue being the actual issue? Shouldn’t it get at least a supporting role?

Trump gave this protest, on a silver platter, the chance to be about the exact thing the original participants wanted to talk about, the very reason for the protest in the first place, and in response the left has made it about protesting the fact that Trump is president. Or the fact that he tweeted. That’s just … dumb.

You know what else is dumb? This is dumb.

Really? You stand up, sing the national anthem as the troops carry the flag, and then you kneel down for the protesters? That’s having your cake and protesting it, too. Wait, bad example, I do that with cake. It’s like trying to have your cake and kneel on it, too. Again, if I’m one of the original protesting players I’d find this totally insulting, not supportive. It’s the worst kind of pandering.

Also, could they have been more awkward and weird about it? I’ll tell you what’s really dumb, though. That dude’s hair. Talk about awkward and weird.

This whole protest is, as a movement, terrible. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t play well, and it isn’t accomplishing what you want. I think you’re wrong when you say America oppresses, although it’s a fine thing to want to discuss. But even if it’s true, America is also amazing and free and you obviously have access to a big platform to speak your mind without the government arresting you in the middle of the night. That happens in some countries, you know.

People love to talk about their “platform” and how they use their “platform.” Actors say this a lot. People say it about the NFL players. Even about the two dork singers above. Fine. You have a big platform. Go on Twitter with your famous face and name. Go on TV, or even cable news. You could easily get plenty of airtime on MSNBC, which is almost TV.

If an actor has a cause, they use their celebrity for that cause. In the news, at awards shows. But not, like, during a movie. I didn’t see Bruce Banner turn to the camera and talk about global warming as Mark Ruffalo. So if you’re an NFL player, don’t mess with the game. That’s not using your “platform”, that’s ruining sports.

Dan McLaughlin said something that everyone, both sides, should think about.

This is absolutely right. I also don’t think that most of the people who spent all day Sunday throwing fits on Facebook and Twitter are actual sports fans. There is no more certain way to end professional sports than to make them the arena for political games. People who care about the game, how it’s played, who wins – you know, sports fans – should not be excited for this and definitely should not be helping it happen. This is what I see:

By the way, people helping it happen and proving they aren’t sports guys? Donald Trump. The reaction to him tweeting about it was predictable. But he didn’t care because it’s red meat and he could use plenty because A) this kind of thing is how he keeps his easily led base happy and fed and B) his actual record on the issues that base claims to care about is pretty lousy. So, you know, “squirrel!”

What, you thought he was getting out of this with no blame? Sorry, suck-ups, but when he’s actually blameless, then shall I blame him not.

But he can’t be blamed for the hypocrisy and flip-flopping of others. That’s on them. Think about the fact that the same people who are freaking out today about free speech for professional athletes were freaking out last week at the horrible danger of letting Ben Shapiro talk about conservative policies to college students. Now that’s dumb.

Also dumb? The same thing, but reversed.

Speaking of Shapiro, this is a good, succinct point:

Mary Katharine Ham gets at this as well:

Let me offer you a quick, hot take.

NFL players have every right to protest even if it is in a grossly unfitting way that is small-minded, inappropriate, ungrateful, and ruins sports. The issues that concern these player are not lesser for it, though they are less well served by it. There is a legitimate problem way at the bottom of all the fuss that merits genuine, non-Twitter discussion among people of good faith. NFL fans and viewers also have every right to be disgusted or outraged and to stop watching the NFL as a result of their feelings. And President Trump has every right to express his own view on the matter.

People, in short, have the right to protest, to be outraged, to be dumb, to be jerks, to take a stand, to be respectful, to be disrespectful, to entertain us, or to annoy the crap out of me. I don’t have to like what they do, but they have a right to do it.

There, that wasn’t so hard, right?

But we still aren’t actually talking about race. So the conversation you wanted that Trump gave you is being squandered on a conversation about Trump. In which case I guess it’s not about having trouble accepting it when you get what you want. It’s more like not knowing what to do with it. The proverbial dog catching the mail truck. Smooth.

Wait, don’t go. Here’s one more dumb thing.

This totally meaningless tweet is blatant pandering. And look at the retweets! It works. This is what passes for a “pundit” on the right. That’s really, really dumb.

By the way, and this is probably very unfair on my part, but I get this annoyed feeling when I see all these civilians going on about honoring the flag and the anthem and sacrifice and America and I’m thinking to myself, “well what have you done?” Actually, it’s not “probably” unfair, it is unfair. But look, if you’re always going to be on social media putting people on blast about how much you love America and how much they don’t, I think probably you should do something more for America than just bitch about who waves their flag the most, don’t you? Just a thought.

Were there 11 dumb things in this? I don’t know, probably. Maybe. You know what’s dumb? I didn’t even count.