Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
When I saw the title of Pat Buchanan’s op ed piece I knew we were in for a doozy of poor logic. The logic of, “Yes I respect the First Amendment right of free speech, but not when it upsets me.” Whenever you see that word “but”, you can pretty much erase everything in front of it. If we are going to say that the alt-right should be allowed their free speech under the First Amendment, that the president should be able to call people sons-of-bitches, but others should not be allowed to say things he and like-minded individuals don’t want to hear, you are just one big hypocrite.
Politicians and pundits like to “frame” the issues for us; the mindless masses. Over the years, pro baseball and pro football have welcomed more and more militarization of their games. It started with special Army parachutists flying down onto the fields to thunderous applause. Then came the fly overs with thunderous jets just before the national anthem. After that came jets flying over with a huge flag unfurled in the middle of the field. After that we started having the military also sing the national anthem and then God Bless America. Soon the players were wearing camouflage jerseys and hats during games. Now, even Little Leaguers from age 5 and up are wearing camouflage jerseys. Excuse me, from where did this procession of military worship arise? Who framed “freedom of expression and protest” as unpatriotic, was it Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton? It appears that it is those don’t like such expression, especially when it creates discomfort with their beliefs.
I like what Bob Costas and Gregg Popovich have to say about this. Look it up on youtube.com
When Buchanan says that the culture war has come to the NFL he uses the term “culture war” to define those who are standing up to prejudice, to racism, to those who are speaking out about injustices that are an ingrained part of our society and our history. He is, I think, also telling those who don’t want to face these facts that, “this is war.” Really? He calls those professional athletes “vastly privileged players” as if they somehow got where they are by the virtue of being privileged. What an abomination of fact. Does he have any idea of the work ethic as well as talent that it takes to get to the NFL, or MLB, or the NBA? And the players are making chump change compared the owners of these teams.
Buchanan calls it a sad day when players express their convictions. My idea of a sad day is when a young girl goes before congress and tells a story of Iraqis taking babies from incubators, throwing them on the floor and letting them die there. Then the president and Congress use the lies told there to send us off to war in the Middle East. I call it a sad day when the President of the United States calls the leader of North Korea “rocket man” in an elementary schoolyard game of “I’m tougher than you” name calling. One demented leader egging on another demented leader with the danger of nuclear war on the horizon. Now that, is a sad day.