Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Avoiding The Bait

I'm going to take Jeffrey Lurie's advice.

To be sure, the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles should have (as Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia pointed out) issued a statement which would have argued the Eagles' players "are true patriots." While noting the team is "disappointed some chose to hijack the spotlight," he could have emphasized added that the players "have so much respect for our nation they have used their celebrity and platform to fight for important causes, like social and racial injustice, poverty and educational inequality." 

By contrast, Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News columnist Mike Sielski argued the organization "did the right thing by sending out that milquetoast quote from owner Jeffrey Lurie and not commenting further, by declining to have Trump bait them into a longer war of words, by ignoring the whole thing, because the whole thing was relatively harmless..."

On the same day Sielski wrote, Ken Belson of The New York Times described the October, 2017 meeting in which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell discussed with team owners the league's possible response to criticism by the President of owners for not having "fired" protesting players.  Belson explained

Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Eagles, took a different view. Don’t pander to the president, he said, by clamping down on the players. Work with the players and tune out the noise. The president will do what he does regardless.

“We’ve got to be careful not to be baited by Trump or whomever else,” he said at the meeting. “We have to find a way to not be divided and not get baited.”

Most of the owners took the bait anyway.

And so, I will not take the bait. 

The President of the United States of America on Tuesday was viewed- as he undoubtedly knew he would be- evidently failing to remember the words of "God Bless America."

Arguably, Trump should have recalled the lyrics. Inarguably, any normal human being who doesn't know all the words, realizing the camera would lock in on him, would have taken the 2-3 minutes beforehand to memorize them.

And now you're thinking: but Donald J. Trump is not a normal human being. That, too, is inarguably true; but as a first-term President, he wants to curry favor with the public, at least his base, which at least pretends it is patriotic.

Yet, there were words Trump failed to sing or mouth .Had he respectfully stood at attention or stood with his hand (insincerely) over his heart, it would not be so clear that he did not know the words. Instead, he evidently sang a few words and then made it clear that he did not know the rest.

Or did he? Donald Trump has been- and continues to be- an actor, one who significantly in fame by pretending on The Apprentice to be a tough guy who could fire individuals willy-nilly. Nonetheless, he did not pretend to know the words, which he could have done by simply standing with solemnity and dignity as the US Marine Band and Army Chorus eloquently sang.

The three possible explanations are that Trump: a) thought he knew the words and discovered too late that he didn't; b) reprising his campaign strategy of demonstrating he has only contempt for Christianity, was trying to send the same message about the country; or c) recognizing the power of social media, realized his failure to remember the words of an oft-sung patriotic tune would become the next day's hit on Twitter and elsewhere.

Option (a) is incomprehensible because no one is that stupid. Option (b) probably played a role as Trump continues trolling the American public, wondering when it will recognize him as a fake, a phony, and fraud. (He'd still be President and would still stand a chance at re-election.)

But I'm guessing option (c) is most valid.  Today (Wednesday) the video is being played over and over, with Trump as usual being the main attraction, as he must be. Further, he is surrounded by heart-warming symbols, the American flag and the Marine Band, the latter giving a stirring rendition of the patriotic and faith-based God Bless America while, as always, impressively standing at attention.

And have I mentioned how great the weather looked? As portrayed, the scene is a winner, and President Trump is in it, which likely delights him further. 

Jeffrey Lurie is concerned about individuals being baited by the President and therefore I will not add the obvious video to this post which, admittedly, will not be seen by Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick, or the Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins.   However, the song below, which the latter two might appreciate, surely would thoroughly annoy the President, in either depiction.

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