""I will tell you," Trump told Hannity, "you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem, you cannot do that.""
I must believe the President doesn't mean "cannot," proven by the fact that people often do. So, at best, he either means "may not" or "should not." If the former, then he's at odds with Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), which concludes that flag burning is "symbolic speech" protected by the First Amendment.*
Yet if all the POTUS means is "should not," then I'm fine with him holding to that opinion, which I share strongly, as long as he realizes that people *can* commit incendiary acts, even under the protection of the law. They can and they may.
What possibly amuses me most in all this chatter, maybe aside from the partisan imprecision I sometimes (sometimes often?) find with Sean Hannity, is that such extreme forms of protest are typically found only among *extreme* liberals; yet mainstream media refuses to admit that such behavior is at least a bit outside the norm, let alone completely out of step with what America stands for in principle. How did such truthfulness become only a conservative virtue? Or is it situational? If conservative athletes took a knee during the previous eight years, would it have been the protesting athletes or Obama's policies that would have received the blame by conservatives? There's good reason to think the latter. Yet should being right on an issue afford sympathy toward those who'd protest in objectionable ways? I should say not. As Michael Corleone aptly stated to the infamous senator from Nevada, "We're both of the same hypocrisy..." Until either side admits hypocrisy applies at least minimally to their own dealings, good luck.
What's at play here is both parties and the networks won't give an inch on the political field. Their fear is the moral equivalency factor. I won't acknowledge my wrong doing in fear that you won't acknowledge yours and yours is much worse! The moral equivalency factor gives way to "justifying" eclipsing of truth and telling outright lies in order to win an argument. Bias reporting is now somehow justified as long as the other side is behaving more unseemly than we. (No doubt, the ungodly are more comfortable among liberals. There isn't a moral equivalency between the parties, but that's not the point. Read on...)
Christians are governed by a radically different standard. A standard that often calls us to give up yardage in this world. A standard that requires us to acknowledge guilt, regardless of how little we think it compares to that of our opponents.
At the very least, all conservatives are to be about Rule of Law, but too often Rule of Law doesn't enter into the discussion when it undermines the point we'd like to make. Expedience trumps integrity. (Apropos Rule of Law - disrespecting our country is legal, whether we like it or not. Yet the Right is conspicuously silent on the constitutional rights of these juvenile knee-takers. Just like the Left refuses to acknowledge the inappropriateness of such outrageous behavior.)
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is much is permitted in this great country of ours under the rubric of "freedom of speech." For instance, we have this "American" idea that even blasphemy should be legal lest we become like a Muslim state. Where did that come from? False dilemma, obviously, but our schools don't teach critical thinking. Maybe that's where it comes from? No, bad reasoning is an ethical matter more than one of aptitude or education. Intelligent people can appear quite foolish when on the wrong side of an issue. Stephen Hawking.
Well, I'd say states' rights got swallowed up by the Federal Government long ago. I'd also say Texas pretty much had it right on this issue of flag desecration back in '89. (Though their criminal appeals court did rule contrary to the states' original ruling and subsequent appeal, as did the SCOTUS.)
Given the perpetual erosion of states' rights, maybe we can at least uphold NFL owners' rights? While I'm hoping, maybe players might one day consider taking a knee in church on Sunday - before heading off to work, of course. *sigh*
Truth may and can triumph over party. And, it most certainly should.
(*Antonin Scalia was in the 5-4 majority. Yet interestingly enough, what ended up being a defining moment in legalizing U.S. defiance took place during the 1984 Republican National Convention due to "disagreement" over certain Reagan policies. Be careful whom you appoint I guess. Oh well... If only man-on-the-street Jesse Watters could've interviewed the communist activist that night in '89 on the depth and breadth of his ideology.)