Sunday, September 24, 2017

Oh Say Can You See?

Exactly one year ago I posted this:

I think it’s fair to say that the “anthem protest” movement has not gone away. What was a fire just got a load of “Trump Regular” poured on it and has turned into a blazing inferno.

My opinion hasn’t changed. I think the athletes are undermining their cause and alienating the very audience they could influence if they expressed themselves in other ways. But, this is America and it’s their right to protest. While their employers could fire them if their actions are “unreasonable” and legitimately damage the enterprise, I don’t think any team owners are inclined to fight that battle in this day and age. And I don’t see sponsors pulling out over this.

The NFL has a bigger problem: Most of the games are really boring. Attendance is down. Who wants to spend so much money to watch a boring game? Viewership may also be down. I’m not sure anyone knows given all of the different media options that now exist. And then there are the questions about concussions and the dangers associated with the sport. And if that were not enough there always seems to be a headline about some player beating up on their wife or girlfriend. Colleges and even high schools have their own issues, but they play a more exciting style of football and the fans seem to be more emotionally invested in their teams.

But the real story here is not about football. In September 2017, the real story is that our President has now decided to wade in on this “anthem protest” issue. I guess at this point I should not be surprised . I’m on the record, I voted for him. No way I could have voted for Hillary. In hindsight I should have just written in someone, anyone…ABT. But, I did what I did. It didn’t make a difference in the outcome. Texas was in the bag for the Republicans. And maybe it was for the best that I did vote for Trump. Otherwise, I would be over-the-top in criticizing his behavior. As it stands, I have to hold back just a bit.

But he really is pushing all of The Progressives' Hot Buttons. I don’t think it’s a winning strategy. The battle is always for the middle ground and Trump is losing that battle. Even those of us who lean more to the right than to the left, are frustrated and increasingly worried about his behavior. Those who lean left have quickly moved further away from him. The hardcore Pro-Trumpers are still there, but like Trump, they are stuck. This is a Presidency that is going nowhere except maybe backwards. The deck was stacked against him to begin with and he has continued to overplay his hand time and again.

The Democrats do not have any answers, but will win big in the mid-terms because they are anti-Trump. I have my doubts that Trump will serve out his term and if he does he will not be the Republican candidate in 2020. He might run, but it will be as an Independent or as the head of his own Trump party. If the Democrats can find a semi-moderate candidate they will win the White House. But it’s almost reached the point, where I’m not sure it even matters.

Oh say can you see? I think most of us can. The nation is being pulled apart by the extremists on the left and the right. The debt just keeps piling up and the things that need to be fixed (healthcare, infrastructure, taxes, education, immigration…just to name a few) remain nothing but talking points for the next election cycle. America is still a great nation and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But damn it, we are making one hell of an effort to ruin it.

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