Simply by refusing to stand for the National Anthem, Colin Kaepernick has started another political wildfire, with angry people lining up on both sides of the issue. While I agree that he should have stood out of respect for our national anthem, I also understand if he, personally, felt compelled by his conscience to stay seated. I initially didn’t have any sympathy for Mr. Kaepernick’s position, after all, I tend not to give much credibility to celebrities of any kind. I did eventually, however, come around to it.
As a firm advocate of the #NeverTrump movement, I am constantly badgered by Trump’s vocal supporters to vote for Donald Trump. I’ve been called everything in the book from “unAmerican“, to “unpatriotic“, to a “commie” and even a “traitor“. All of these accusations and slanders are not only patently untrue, but themselves represent something unwholesomely unAmerican. To compel others to violate their conscience simply because it is “nationalist” carries the poisonous stink of Mao’s Communist Party loyalty patrols.
“When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
In America, people have not only the right to dissent, they have the moral obligation to dissent if they feel the need to do so. So even if I disagree fundamentally with the underlying nature of the “oppression” that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting when he refuses to stand for the National Anthem, I firmly support his fundamental right to do so and sympathize with the kernels of truth at the root of his political statement.
If you’ve read much at all of libertyisftw.org, then you already know that economic and political disadvantaged groups actually exist. Look at practically any large city with a large black population, and you can’t help but see the stark economic and political disparities throughout. Where I disagree with Mr. Kaepernick and many of his political allies is that government is at the source of practically every economic problem in America today, and the solution to practically all of these serious economic issues is less government, not more.
For example, we’ve been raising the minimum wage for decades now, and the economic situation in the black community has simply continued to worsen, not improve. Tying the hands of police forces that are already stretched to the limit trying and failing to keep the peace in these largely black neighborhoods will only tighten the screws of economic inequality that have ravaged the black community for almost a century. We need to stop trying things that have already failed.
How about we look at what has worked instead? When did we see the single largest peace time expansion of the labor force in the history of the United States? It happened under Ronald Reagan. His plan of cutting taxes, cutting regulation, fighting government spending, and spreading economic and political opportunity created the economic conditions that increased the labor force from 63.7% in 1983 to a peak of 66.8% in 1989, an increase of over 3.0% points.
And where did that 3.0% come from? They were black, Asian, and Latino minority groups as well as women entering the work force from the first time. And Reagan wasn’t even able to push through anywhere near all of the legislation he’d hoped for. Ideological conservatives want to crank the dial of economic freedom all the way to eleven.
-This Is Spinal Tap-
Then Colin Kaepernick would see what real growth and opportunity can do for the black community and everyone else. Once the cage doors are all open, and the chains are all unbound, the true benefits of a free and prosperous society can be enjoyed by all. That is true conservatism.
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