On Monday night, Donald Trump chose to uninvite the Philadelphia Eagles in the White House since some members of the Super Bowl champs were not likely to attend Tuesday’s ceremony as a result of disagreements with the President.
Here is the crucial portion of the announcement:”The Philadelphia Eagles are not able to come to the White House with their whole team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the wonderful people of our military and the people of the nation. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, however, the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.” Make no mistake about what Trump is doing here: He’s appointing himself the arbiter of what patriotism is and means to the 300+ million citizens of america. If you do not stand, you’re — by Trump’s thinking through the statement above — dishonoring not just the”great men and women of our military” but also the”people of the nation.” And he is saying something else: If you do not meet my standard of patriotism, you do not have to come to my home. There is a whole hell of a whole lot of things wrong with the announcement, the logic and Trump chose to voice it. Let us list them. Trump’s explanation not having every member of the Eagles there could somehow disappoint Eagles fans that”deserve better” is complete BS. But if they’re anything like Washington Redskins fans, they would be completely thrilled to satisfy up with the backup left guard on the team — much less a large group of gamers that expressed interest in coming. Trump is hiding behind the I-am-doing-the-fans-a-favor excuse to play some politics — plain and simple. Trump doesn’t have the White House. Trump appears to be treating 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue like one of his Trump properties. If only you’d done things the way I wanted them done, then perhaps you may be reclining in one of my 5-star resorts right now — or playing golf at one of my award-winning classes. That is Trump thinks. Now, all presidents know that an invitation to the White House is a big thing. Democratic and Republican presidents have used the White House as a means to woo wavering legislators, reward major donors and impress foreign diplomats. But the notion that individuals can be disinvited because they do not act how you want them to in a specific situation is new ground. This is of stuff. From the definition provided in his announcement tonight, patriotism for Donald Trump is standing for the National Anthem, with your hands on your heart. Doing anything else is disrespectful — not just to Trump but into the army and to the nation as a whole. So, what about if Baltimore Orioles fans shout”O’s” when the line”Oh say can you see?” Or the Washington Capitals fans — because they did tonight — cheer wildly when the word”red” is mentioned in the line”rockets red glare?” Is that disrespectful? On Tuesday afternoon, Trump elaborated on his notion of patriotism at a tweet about his plans to host a”Celebration of America” event instead of the projected Eagles celebration. “We will be playing the National Anthem along with other wonderful music celebrating our Nation now at 3 P.M., The White House, together with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus. Twitter was posted on by trump. He added, referring to the NFL’s new policy which allows players to wait off the field during the anthem. Trump believes patriotism must equal unwavering dedication to his perspective of the National Anthem. Should you take Trump in his sentence in the statement released Monday night, the only way which you can show love and admiration for people who have fought and died for our nation is to stay with your hands over your heart during the playing of the National Anthem. That’s it. That is the only route. Take a step back. What are Americans fighting and dying in foreign nations fighting and dying for, if not the best of free expression, of their freedom to speak your mind without fear? The essence of being an American is that right to express your views in a means which is true and loyal to your personal experiences. The secret to the success of American experiment is a belief that our melting pot of over 300 million people and their encounters gets it right only if we listen to other perspectives and appreciate those perspectives, just as we value our own opinions. Insistence on adherence to one idea of what it means to honor our nation — and its own military people — is not in keeping with this credo. It is its reverse.