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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Can someone please tell us what the NFL flag protesters really want?

I couldn’t help but chuckle watching the pregame festivities on Monday night as two professional football teams decked out in full battle gear uneasily took the field in anticipation of the moment all of America had been waiting for ever since the conclusion of Sunday’s nationwide social protests (sometimes known as NFL games).

Simply stated, everyone wanted to see how the Dallas Cowboys (and to a lesser extent, the Arizona Cardinals) Cowboys kneelwould handle the playing of our national anthem.

Would they take a knee? Would they stand? Would they sit... or run off the field? No one knew for sure. It was destined to be a performance likely choreographed through hours of laborious team meetings, negotiations and individual confessionals. Cowboys owner and flag defender Jerry Jones himself probably proposed several alternatives to try and hammer out a solution that would make his players/employees happy.

As the TV cameras panned the faces of the uniformed players with locked arms it was plain to see just how nervous everyone was in that instance. The queasy participants looked as though they were about to engage in a suicidal charge against an unseen foe in the background somewhere.

Then Jones’ team knelt in unison for a moment (with the crowd booing loudly) and, as one, stood up again and exited the field just as an oversized American flag was stretched out to cover the playing surface. All remained upright (with locked arms) along the sideline for the singing of the national anthem. So did the Cardinals, as far as I can tell.

It was almost like ESPN’s (the network covering the game) announcers breathed a tangible sigh of relief when the anthem concluded. Whew! That’s over! Now we can talk about football again!

It was pageantry; it was theater; it was…stupid.

I wondered, is this the way it’s going to be from now on in professional sports? Is the most dramatic part of every event going to occur before the referee even blows the whistle to put the ball in play? Will each team devise their own special method of protest to what has served for decades as a simple ceremony of respect for the flag and country?

The absurdity of it all begs a question -- what exactly is it that the NFL players/owners are “protesting” and what mystical cure would satiate their desire to make a statement before television audiences and fans in the stands? Is it only the nation’s police forces that they’re mad about? Should law enforcement be outlawed? How about racial sensitivity training and immersion for all police personnel in a curriculum designed by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? Would that do it?

Yes, that’s what it boils down to in 2017 – what exactly do they want? Does anyone really know?

For the Democrats, they basically only crave more voters by fanning the flames of anger motivated by identity politics. Lauretta Brown of Townhall reported on Hillary Clinton’s reaction to this past weekend’s protests, “’Well, I think it's deeply troubling that the president would be attacking black athletes for expressing their opinions peacefully,’ Clinton told SiriusXM host Zerlina Maxwell. ‘Protest is a part of the American way of life and it’s something that I’m very proud of whether I agree or disagree peaceful protest is part of what has helped us make progress, learn more, be a better country over time.’”

Ahem, Hillary, isn’t “peaceful protest” precisely what the Tea Party did in regards to the Obama administration’s agenda? How about the demonstrations spurred on by Clinton’s lack of accountability over the Benghazi tragedy? Or what about the “deplorables” rising up to object to government overreach and the never-ending leftist drives to subdue the Second Amendment?

The 2016 Democrat presidential nominee continued, “I just couldn't help thinking that he [Trump] has attacked these black athletes for peacefully protesting, but he doesn't really attack white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klanners, or Vladimir Putin, who interfered in our election and I think it’s all part of his political calculation and I really think it’s bad for the country. He wants to set people against each other, he wants to divide us.”

No Hillary, it’s pretty evident Trump just wants people to respect the flag, the military, the Constitution and America’s institutions. It’s not hard to figure out…start by listening to his words.

In contrast Crooked Hillary just uttered a lot of the same mumbo jumbo she spouted during last year’s campaign. Clinton calls Trump divisive when she’s the one dwelling on identity politics. First off, Trump didn’t single out “black athletes” for special censure in his speech last Friday night (unless “sons of bitches” only applies to non-whites) or in any of his subsequent tweets.

Second, Trump has repeatedly condemned all hate groups on the right and left and just because the president doesn’t see fit to name names on every occasion doesn’t mean he’s changed his orientation towards them. Lastly, what the heck does Vladimir Putin have to do with these NFL player protests? Why bring the Russians up at all, Hillary?

The jabs at Trump aren’t just coming from the misguided nuts in the Democrat Party, however. #NeverTrump has been every bit as active in going after the president for his opinions. David French wrote the other day in National Review, “In the space of less than 24 hours this weekend, the president of the United States did more to politicize sports than ESPN has done in a decade of biased, progressive programming. He singled out free speech he didn’t like, demanded that dissenters be fired, and then — when it became clear that private American citizens weren’t going to do what he demanded — he urged the economic boycott of their entire industry…

“I understand why they [NFL players] knelt. I understand why men who would never otherwise bring politics onto the playing field — and never had politicized sports before — felt that they could not be seen to comply with a demagogue’s demands. I understand why even owners who gave millions to Trump expressed solidarity with their players. I understand why even Trump supporters like Rex Ryan were appalled at the president’s actions.”

I had to read French’s article twice to make sure it was from a “conservative” publication. Turning whining invective from spoiled narcissistic athletes into some sort of cause célèbre for First Amendment free speech is going a little far, isn’t it, David?

No one’s claiming these guys don’t have the right to do what they’re doing, but the owners are certainly within their own “rights” to terminate them for doing harm to their businesses outside the context of the players’ employment, should they choose to use the power (they’re not, which is another story).

Fans can and do tolerate a lot, but why should anyone stand for disrespect of the flag and country?

Would the Democrat National Committee have the right to fire an employee who made a public spectacle of himself by protesting the party’s policies on their dime? What if that person took the microphone at the party convention and went off on Obama and Bernie Sanders? Isn’t that free speech? Would they be justified in firing such a person?

In French’s particular circumstance his complaints certainly appear to be just another instance of sour grapes. He and other #NeverTrumpers like Kevin Williamson and Kyle Smith at National Review spent months last year making the case against Trump, insulting the candidate’s conservative supporters only to be humbled by Americans’ votes for the man who won the election.

But the #NeverTrumpers still haven’t learned. Trump was right; they were wrong, but they can’t get over it. Smith wrote at National Review, “America doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be the case that we have a president who seizes on disputes from pop culture and entertainment and makes them into sources of national irritation. Football shouldn’t be a political football. May the next president have the wisdom to mollify, de-escalate, and lower the volume. May the next president make America normal again.”

Normal again? What is normal? Is normal sitting by and watching while someone tramples on your values? Is normal watching Obama light up the White House with rainbow colored lights? Is normal having Hillary Clinton ignore the law with her email server and then label a quarter of the country as backwards racists -- and establishment Republicans refusing to use it against her?

“Normal” is George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney. “Normal” is the Washington establishment ruling class that loses elections and preserves the status quo for their own benefit. “Normal” is what got the country into the mess it’s in now. Trump may be ab-normal as a politician but that’s why people voted for him.

Besides, by siding with the protesters and other inexplicable causes the Democrats don’t look like they ever want to win again. Stephen L. Miller wrote at Fox News, “My question to the Democrats (and media) is simple: What voters in that big chunk of the country turned red do you plan to win back on a platform of kneeling for the national anthem, revoking due process, removing monuments of our founders, sympathizing with jihad, glorifying property-destroying (and journalist-punching) thugs or backing Kim Jong Un in a nuclear showdown?

“The more the left has ramped up its cultural war, the more their governing power has diminished. Who cares if the Affordable Care Act wiped them from the electoral map, as long as Jimmy Kimmel gets his sick burns in.”

Which brings me back to the main point -- what exactly would the protesters accept as a resolution to their complaints? What do they want?

Until someone with enough charisma and character steps forward to articulate what it is exactly they’re demanding and what will satisfy their pleas, the protesters will remain a sad joke in the eyes of the American public. It’s only a shame a beloved pastime like the NFL has to perish because of it.

Note: If anyone still doubts that the left has gone completely over the edge on this issue, please check out this video. It’s the clearest demonstration I’ve seen yet of what eight years of Obama did to this country.

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