by Roberta Reavey
So, I think I figured out how to get a toenail in the closed door of Trumpster thinking. For the football fans, anyway.
Giving up football to show the NFL their "principles" has GOT to be killing them right around now, right? It may very well be the first time they've actually felt the pain of their terrible choice. Let's give them a way to alleviate their pain . . . and take a baby step toward the light at the same time.
The Svengalis of the Trumpsters have them believing that kneeling during the National Anthem is disrespectful to the flag, the troops, motherhood, apple pie, picket fences . . . whatever. They are completely convinced of it and staunch in their defense of that “principle.” Nothing could possibly change their minds . . .except . . . it hurts. It’s our job to show them how to feel better by helping them to adjust their thinking away from their “alternative logic.”
The chief problem with their contention is that at no time—NO TIME—in human history has kneeling ever been a sign of anything other than respect and a request for protection from the object of the kneeling. Never. Ever. In all of history. What we need to do is to ask the Trumpsters this simple question: what changed? What’s different about this situation that the opposite is now true? How did that happen? (Okay, that’s a bunch of questions. You can pick and choose.)
When you ask your question, the Trumpster will most likely respond as they’ve been unknowingly trained to do, with a deflection.
You: How is Kaepernick’s kneeling different from kneeling in prayer?
Trumpster: You’re supposed to stand during the National Anthem.
You: What’s different now that kneeling is suddenly disrespectful when it’s been a sign of respect for all time?
Trumpster: Our troops fought for his right to do that disrespectful thing.
DON’T LET THEM DEFLECT, and don’t be dragged off course yourself by attempting to respond to the deflection. Just keep firing away with your original question. Make them consider it, even if they never answer you. Keep at it until you can see in their eyes that they’re actually trying to formulate an answer, because there is no good answer! The only answer is that Kaepernick is black and the request of the players is for black people’s lives to be spared. They must realize it themselves. They NEED to realize it themselves. Even though they’ll likely never admit it to you in a million years, you will have done them two favors: you’ll have helped straighten out their logic, and you’ll have given them a way to watch football again. Yay, you.
The closer we get to the impeachment, the more necessary it is that we begin to look for ways to reintegrate Trumpsters into civil society again. It’s not going to be easy, and there probably won’t be any big wins, but we have to keep trying for the sake of civil society. Babies don’t give up trying to walk, and neither should we.