By Michael Jay Tucker
As I write this, I am confused, and I know shame.
Why? Because our president appeared before a rally in Huntsville and proclaimed that any football player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired at once.
And I don’t know quite how to write about that.
I could, perhaps, talk about Race, and how his comments are a covert call to those in sheets, and who carry Tiki torches in university towns. I could talk about his insensitivity, his failure to understand, his fundamental disrespect…
But, I won’t do that… because it would have no effect. Trump’s remarks were meant not for me, and not for you, and certainly not for African-Americans. They were meant for a white under-class that feels threatened by men with black faces and so what Trump said was exactly what they wanted to hear.
Which is shameful.
So, perhaps, I could write about the danger Trump’s remarks pose to free speech. For, of course, the subtext of what he said was that there are things that others cannot say, and to hell with the Constitution.
I would write that, but I won’t, because, again, it would do no good. His loathing of free expression is one of the things that most closely unites him with his followers—all those angry men and women watching Faux News, or listening to hate-filled radio programs, all agreeing that there are no permitted opinions but their own.
Which is also shameful.
So, finally, perhaps, I could write about the sheer crudity of this man in the White House. I might write about how genuinely vulgar he is, and how his speech was not just an insult to certain athletes, but also an affront to the dignity of the office of the president.
I would remind him of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln…and I would ask him if he could possibly imagine any of them standing on a podium in full view of the entire world and calling a relatively obscure sports figure “a son of a bitch.”
I could write all that…but I won’t, because, once more, it will do no good. The men and women who support him are thrilled, not repulsed by his vulgarity. This …this awful vulgarity…resonates with them as the Gettysburg Address never could.
And that is the most shameful thing of all.
For it says that we have a president, and a certain percentage of the electorate, for whom all honor… the opposite of shame…