Monday, October 3, 2016

Washed-Up Quarterbacks, Patriotism, Millenials and Conscription...

Unless you've been living in a dumpster behind the local Wal-Mart, you know that 2nd string, has-been quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who used to play for the Peoples' Republic of San Francisco 49ers football team, has decided that he no longer will show due respect for America's National Anthem or its flag.

Yes my friends, and you are my friends, Kaepernick was playing in top form when he emerged on the scene back in 2011.  He could throw tight spirals and he could scamper.  He was a double-threat.  And because of this he was given a multi-year, $120 Million Dollar contract.  

But then 2013 and 2014 happened.  No longer quite so good. Relegated to second string. 49ers hired new QB.  Kooperdick was no longer the fair-haired boy. Actually, being a mulatto, with a Black father and a White mom, he never was.  But maybe that fueled the furor in which we now find him...and us.  

Kopperprick was facing a trade.  He was going to be fired. And so, what was he to do to remain relevant?  To keep his face all over ESPN?  Relegated to collecting only $100,000 a month while warming the bench (!), it's my opinion he just couldn't abide the fate of no longer being important.  Of no longer being the go-to guy.  What was he to do?

How about giving America the finger? Yeah, that's it!  Dump on his Country!  The Country that gave him the chance to be a star. A filthy-rich star. Yeah, crap on his Country and its flag!  He could say that "his people" were being mistreated. Being treated unfairly!  Even though Blacks represent more than 70% of the players in the National Football League, and making $Millions, he thinks they're being mistreated. And until they are given better treatment, in his sole opinion, he would not show respect for his Country or its flag by standing, hand on his heart, when the National Anthem is being played.

To say that this caused a furor would be an understatement. the NFL's CEO, a guy named Roger Goodell, decided that Klopperdank's disrespect was quite alright. Goodell wouldn't approve the Dallas Cowboys players wearing patches honoring the five slain Dallas cops, but okayed Kramperdork dishonoring our Country and its flag. The fans didn't like that decision.  Especially when a few other Black athletes decided to stand with Kummpledrek.  Or, rather sit.  

One Ms. Megan Rapinoe, fiercely gay and damned proud of it, and star midfielder for the soccer team Seattle Reign, decided to join forces with Klipperdork and take a knee during the National Anthem.  To prevent her from doing so again, the owner of another team due to play the Reign, ordered the Anthem played before the players took to the field.  Upon learning of this, Mr. Megan was overheard to say, "Fu**ing outrageous! Nice.  Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

And Denver Bronco's star running back Brandon Marshall decided to join in as well. He decided to display his displeasure with earning several million dollars a year while being Black by refusing to respect his Country and its flag.  A couple of his sponsors responded by immediately pulling their sponsorships.  One, a credit union serving veterans exclusively, pulled out, costing him more than $5 Million a year.  I wonder if he expected that?  I wonder if he's proud of his decision now?

There have been others.  And it's still spreading.  But the theme is just the same. Filthy rich Black athletes have decided that they don't need to respect their Country or those who have died defending it. And there are legions of us fans who have decided that we don't need to support these athletes or the teams for which they play so long as they choose to act in such a disrespectful manner. Klapperdingle can exercise his right to free speech any way he wishes. 

And the fans and I can choose to withhold our dollars from further enriching him - and his team - in any way we can. And I, for one, choose to do exactly that.

Personally, I would suggest that Mr. Kleppledirt adopt that old adage: "Better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

But punishing those who disrespect America is, to me, not the point.  What, I ask, has happened to my Country?  What has happened to make our citizens choose to engage in such overtly dishonorable activities? Activities that draw negative media attention to them and to their teams and their sport? Activities that are undertaken with no apparent thought about what backlash might befall them?

I have a theory.  Bear with me while I set the table...

The Vietnam War, or rather "Police Action," as it was then called, ended in 1972. And the draft, or forcible conscription of citizens over the age of 18 into one of the military branches in the event of national need, ended soon after that.  That's 54 years ago. Long enough ago that 2/3rds of our citizens weren't alive back then.  Long enough ago that we as a society do not remember what it meant to have to purchase your freedom - and keep on purchasing it - by picking up arms and going off to war.  Long enough ago to not be required to honor our Country or its flag.  Long enough ago that we now consider it routine for less than 1% of our population to defend the other 99%.  And that's because our military forces are made up of volunteers. In effect, paid "mercenaries." In effect, professional soldiers who volunteer to serve, and in many cases, continue to serve as a chosen career.   

So back then, and before, all the way back to the Revolutionary War, we were all in it together.  Now?  Not so much.  We're well into the second generation of adults who no longer have to fear conscription.  Who no longer need to worry about writing a check to their fellow citizens in the amount of up to and including...their lives.  I did.  Did you? Probably not.  Krippledank, and Rapinoe, and Marshall? Absolutely not.  They feel they are due what it means to be an American without having to pay any price for that honor. For that privilege.  What a shame.

They don't seem to realize that they've already won the human lottery.  They've already been born into the 5% of the world's population that enjoys a level of freedom unknown around the globe.  A freedom that's been bought and paid for by legions of their forebears who laid down their lives in payment.  But they're too damn dumb to know how good they've got it.  And we all know that items for which we pay no price have to us exactly that same value: Zero.

When I was paying the price for our freedom, the guy to my left and to my right stood with me.  They had my back and I had theirs. They were not Black or White, nor any other color, creed or sexual proclivity, for that matter, but simply fellow soldiers. They came from rich families and from poor. They came from the north, and the south, and east and west. Some were smart, and some less so. They were a cross-section of our society.  And with so many being drafted, we had millions of ex-service members who could inculcate a sense of paid-for freedom into brothers and sisters and sons and daughters and uncles and aunts and friends and neighbors upon returning home.  

Today?  That sense of service is long gone.  Unlike the citizens of Holland and Israel and Switzerland, to name but a few, the US of A no longer conscripts its strapping youth to enter into the service of their country.  And the result?  An entitled society.  A society of people who worry about trigger warnings and "safe spaces" so their tender feelings won't get hurt.  A society of those who do not value their freedom because they paid no price to obtain it. A society of soft, wussified wimps who make old-timers like me want to puke.  

I believe that those by-gone days were better days.  You may disagree.  If so, that's okay with me.  That's some of the freedom I bought and paid for that you get to benefit from for free. But this is a warning.  When a society grows paunchy and soft, with those who no longer deserve the title "patriots," it may well die of atrophy.  And my fear is that we're well on our way toward that ignoble end.  

Please prove me wrong. The next time the National Anthem plays, stand up, put your hand over your heart and sing along.  The next time you're asked to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, do so loudly and proudly.  And compel those to your left and right to do so as well.  And the next time some poor misguided fool disparages our great Country, loudly admonish them for their transgression.  And if any privileged dumbass like Colon Klimpledreck decides to shame himself and his family by refusing to honor his Country, show him how you feel by turning off the money spigot for him and his team.  It will be acts like those which just might keep us from wasting away into nothingness.

If you agree, pass this along to your friends.  Ask that they do the same.  We patriots need to overwhelm the wusses.  We need to shame them into either becoming good, solid 'Muricans, or to simply keeping their disrespectful actions to themselves...  

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