Sesame Street’s Kermit the Frog was astonishingly lucid when he sang, “It’s not easy being green.” I wonder if President Trump is finding it’s not easy being president. He seems confused on a regular basis: Who could ever have thought health care could be so difficult? Other than someone who knew nothing about it.
And after days of silence, Trump seems to have figured out Puerto Ricans are actually U.S. citizens. This confusion on his part is from someone who grew up in New York City, which has a sizable Puerto Rican population. I imagine many have family in Puerto Rico.
But my real concern with his confusion is Trump seems to think that the United States is his own little duchy and that the U.S. flag belongs to him. And that our flag — not his — has the Trump name branded on it, just like all his personal properties.
What right does he have to take a protest against racism and violence and claim to the gullible that it’s an affront to our flag? He cannot continue to rewrite the Constitution of the United States to fit his white supremacist agenda. Perhaps he should outlaw the American flag whenever someone waves a Confederate battle flag.
He seems to have no knowledge of the Bill of Rights. He has essentially instructed the mostly white owners of professional sports teams to outlaw protests during the national anthem. Yet people have a right to disagree with many aspects of our country, even to the point of burning our flag. So said conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who knew a thing or two about the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Maybe I don’t like disrespect of the flag, but I do not promote a law against it, as some have from time to time. Some people don’t like churches, so they don’t go. Some don’t like alcohol or tobacco, so they don’t use them. Some don’t like abortion, so they do not have one. Some don’t believe in driving a car on a holy day, so they do not. And on and on goes the list of personal preferences.
Sometimes attempts are made to legislate these matters, but generally Americans believe in the right to individual choice. And all these choices are protected by the constitutional form of government under which we live.
In one area, President Trump is correct. If professional sports fans don’t support the protests by league players, they can boycott, stay away, refuse to buy tickets. If enough people boycott, the owners will change policy.
But these are marketing issues, not matters of patriotism. Not one professional league protester has said the protest is against veterans, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the U.S. flag. They clearly protest racism and violence.
Maybe some people do view professional athletes as pampered, mostly minority, dark-skinned, self-righteous narcissists. My hunch is that some of those people are just jealous. They resent that, against all odds of racism, violence and oftentimes poverty, these successful athletes make millions of dollars.
In any case, the flag belongs to all of us, not just to the president for him to employ for political purposes whenever he chooses. He’s the one desecrating the flag — not those who have managed to be successful in the American system of capitalism. I wonder if Mr. Trump would even be a billionaire today if he had grown up in the same environments as those he criticizes.
It’s not easy being green.