At the start of the NFL’s past season Donald Trump, he of the outsized race-baiting opinions kind, took a blow torch to players who had the temerity to kneel in protest during their game’s national anthem. The player rebellion and the President’s reaction predictably ignited much discussion. Sides were chosen, fans walked out and the malcontent who started it all, Colin Kaepernick, lost a career but became something of a counter-culture rock star. Fur flew.
The pitter-patter, of which I was a sometime participant, revealed something I found disturbing. Many Americans, I daresay most, trade in a sort of mindless groupthink patriotism. A patriotism that’s not fleshed in any meaningful way but only exist simply because it was ordained to exist. It was startling to witness. I had instinctually always felt unease at overt displays of patriotism, even as a child, but the NFL maelstrom seemed to cast these feelings into a cleaner, more defining light. More