Taking a knee

At this very moment, America is $20 trillion in debt. The man-child ruler of North Korea is launching missiles like a kid lights bottle rockets and our man-child president is triple-dog-daring him to do it again, promising to reign hell on the innocent, starving people who are oppressed by the “Rocket Man.”

It’s enough to bring you to your knees.

Which brings us to the point of this essay.

Colin Kaepernick, a spoiled, rich primadonna ex-football player decided to protest the racist policies of this country by kneeling during the pledge of allegiance. Or was it the racist police in this country? Brutal policies? Or was it police brutality? No one knows and frankly no one cares. One of the beautiful things about America is that you are welcome to join any protest for any reason. You may feel strongly about something, so you join a protest. You may wanna meet girls, so you join a protest. Maybe you don’t want to be left out, so you join a protest. The point is, there is no wrong reason to protest.

The Libertarian Party of Broward County is a diverse group of thoughtful individuals. Some of us may agree with Kaepernick. Some of us may disagree. But we all agree on one thing: It is his decision alone. The same goes for all the players who are “taking a knee” during the National Anthem.

Our position is simple:

  1. Each individual has the right to do as he wishes as long as he doesn’t infringe upon the rights of other.
  2. The government, up to and including the president, should stay out of the matter, as it is a private matter between business owners and their employees. Our concern is that the president calling for the firing of players who won’t stand for the pledge can have a chilling effect. The precedent is terrifying. What’s to stop the president or any future president from calling for the firing of gays, Jews, Christians, people who don’t like cheese, or people with a certain color of hair or manner of speaking? The answer is nothing will stop him because we’ve crossed the line. You can’t unscramble eggs.
  3. We believe, that because this is ultimately a human resources issue between an employer and employee, that whatever the policy of the individual organization is, should be the law in this case.
  4. As libertarians, it is our belief that the market will decide whether the protest is justified. If the people stand with the players, the cause the players claim to represent will benefit. If their behavior is offensive to the majority of the fans, they will suffer the backlash as will the team owners who allowed the offending behavior.

It’s important to note that while all of society sees athletes and actors as somehow removed from us ordinary folk because they earn their living by performing in front of crowds and cameras, they are employees like the vast majority of people in the working world. And like most of us, they must follow codes of ethics, dress codes and standards of conduct. Violation of these rules can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

The president of the United States has no say in whether an employee of a private company continues to be an employee of that company. The recent situation with President Trump is bothersome for two specific reasons: the first is that the president was a private business owner for his entire career. He better than most of us should understand when government has overstepped its bounds. The second reason is that during the Obama Administration, when the controversy over the Washington Redskins was in full swing, Citizen Trump criticized the administration for getting involved, reminding them that they had more important issues to deal with. It seems our current president doesn’t like to eat his own cooking.

by Adolfo Jimenez