Tag Archives: flag burning

Mr. President, there’s that First Amendment thing

Donald Trump has weighed in on professional football players’ conduct while listening to the National Anthem being played before the start of NFL games.

Fire ’em if they sit or kneel while “The Star Spangled Banner” is being played, he said at a Huntsville, Ala., political rally this week.

According to CNN: Trump said NFL owners should respond to the players by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!” 

Well …

This whole discussion began a year ago when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the Anthem to protest the country’s treatment of African-American citizens.

Count me as one American who was appalled at Kaepernick’s disrespectful display. I thought he acted stupidly at the time. He is free to express his political views, but I just didn’t like the manner in which he chose to do it.

However, what he did was legal. Not only that, it’s guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to protest in any peaceful manner they wish. If they want to burn Old Glory in the town square as a form of political speech, that’s allowed, too. Just don’t do it in my presence.

The president’s urging of NFL owners to fire players who sit during the Anthem ignores the First Amendment guarantee of a cherished civil right.

I could argue that the president simply should keep his trap shut when it concerns such matters, except that the First Amendment damn sure gives him the right to speak his piece, too.

Then again, Donald Trump isn’t just your average Joe. He is the president of the United States of America, which gives his words a lot more weight than those that come from some shmuck blogger out here in Flyover Country.

Oh, the price of living in a free society.

‘Playing to his base’? What about the rest of us?

american-flag-burning

Light a match to Old Glory and go to jail and lose your citizenship.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. Never mind the constitutional guarantee that doing something so reprehensible is protected under the First Amendment’s freedom of speech clause.

The president-elect, though, ignored that fundamental truth when he blasted out a tweet that said those who do such a thing need to spend time in the slammer and forsake their citizenship as Americans.

The Washington Post and other media, though, say that Donald J. Trump is “playing to his base,” the voters who’ve stood with him through all the insults, innuendo and idiocy that have poured from his mouth.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/in-flag-burning-comments-trump-again-plays-to-the-voters-that-elected-him/ar-AAkW3eS?li=BBnbfcL

They helped elect him president and I guess that’s his way of saying “thanks, guys.” As the Post reported: “Trump won rural America, where support of the flag is a big issue,” said Scott Reed, a longtime Republican strategist who served as Bob Dole’s campaign manager in 1996. “A lot of those homes that had Trump signs out front were also flying American flags. This is clearly part of his base politics.”

But what about the rest of the country, Mr. President-elect, that didn’t vote for you? What about those of us who are appalled by your seeming ignorance of constitutional protections and your belief — if that’s what you truly believe — that the Supreme Court got it wrong when it ruled on two occasions that burning the Stars and Stripes is protected political speech?

My wife and I fly a flag in our front yard, too, by the way.

I won’t buy into the notion that Trump isn’t my president. I didn’t vote for him, but he’ll take office in January and will assume the role of head of government and head of state. I ain’t moving anywhere. I’m staying right here in the U.S. of A. and will continue to register my gripes — more than likely quite often — over policy pronouncements that come from the president.

Trump won’t be president just for those who stood with him. He’ll be my president, too.

Thus, I hereby demand that he stop making idiotic declarations. How about taking back that crap about flag burning?

Twitter tirade shows danger of Trump presidency

constitution-burningb

Donald J. Trump’s propensity for popping off on social media came into amazing, sharp focus with his latest rant about flag burning.

And it demonstrates why the president-elect’s on-the-job training for the office he is about to assume is so troubling to many of us … who didn’t vote for him.

Trump went on another Twitter tirade and said that those who burn the flag out of protest should spend time in the clink and possibly lose their citizenship.

Really, Mr. President-elect?

This goonish statement underscores as well as anything he’s muttered or sputtered during the course of his fledgling political career how — in a normal election year — he wouldn’t have won the presidency.

His ridiculous assertion ignores — willfully? — that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled time and again that flag-burning is a protected form of political speech. The First Amendment is pretty damn clear about it and anyone who has read that amendment ought to know it — and that makes me believe beyond a doubt that Trump has no clue as to what’s contained in the nation’s governing document.

And yet …

Donald Trump won enough electoral votes to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton and become the 45th president of the United States.

It puzzles me to the max — even now, weeks after the election — just how this happened. Still, I accept the result, as distasteful as it is to my political palate.

I cannot help but wonder, though, how many more idiotic pronouncements the president-elect is going to make. How much more consternation is he going to cause with his utter ignorance of something so fundamental as freedom of speech and political expression?

I’ll repeat what I’ve said before and what others have said already: We have elected a dangerous man as our next president.

OK, so let’s just burn the Constitution, too

burning-flag

The fictional TV husband, Ricky Ricardo, once had the perfect answer to a ridiculous assertion that his wife, Lucy, had made.

“I have five words,” Ricky said. “Aye, aye, aye, aye, aye!”

That’s my response this morning to this latest gem from Twitter twit in chief Donald J. Trump, who writes: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

What in the name of all this holy and sacred is this guy thinking? Or, better yet, is he thinking — at all?

http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/29/politics/donald-trump-flag-burning-penalty-proposal/index.html

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled twice in the past quarter century that burning Old Glory is a form of political expression. Thus, the high court said, it is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

For those who buy into every ridiculous utterance that flows out of the president-elect’s mouth, here is what the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Or “abridging the freedom of speech.” There it is, Mr. President-elect. It looks pretty clear to me.

This guy needs the mother of all reality checks.

He once told a TV interviewer that women should face punishment if they obtained an abortion. He backed off that nonsensical assertion not long afterward.

Now this? He wants to punish folks who burn the flag to protest government policy?

Before you accuse me of being soft on those who do such things, I feel the need to restate something I’ve said over many years. Those who seek to sway public opinion in favor of whatever point they make could not do anything more to turn that opinion against them than burning a flag.

Moreover, as one who once served in the Army and went into a war zone when ordered to do so, I take a back seat to no one in my love of country and its symbols. No one should burn a flag in my presence.

That said, it is a legal act that the Constitution protects under the very first amendment the founders wrote into our nation’s governing document.

It must stay that way.

Read the Constitution, Mr. President-elect. You’ll learn a thing or three about how this nation functions.