STEPHEN MILLER: Does the left ever want to win elections again?
I don’t need to debate the merits or the wisdom behind Kaepernick’s actions.There’s been too much of that already. But what is up for debate is the wisdom of the political left throwing in with a gesture that still, to this day and despite what you see on cable news and social media, remains largely unpopular with the voting public. In 2016, a Quinnipac poll found that only 38 percent of those supported NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. A Reuters poll found that 72 percent found the protest to be unpatriotic but also that 64 percent agreed there should be no punishment or fine.
Thanks to Trump’s reinvigoration of the debate, it didn’t take long for pundits on the left to start suggesting that taking a knee during the national anthem is now a direct protest of Trump himself. D.C. Bureau chief for Mother Jones, David Corn outright stated “The kneel will now become a sign of opposition to Trump,” effectively hijacking the gesture from black activists. Washington Post social justice reporter Wesley Lowery called on colleagues to demand a reasoning from players who chose not to kneel. No word yet if Lowery chose to ask Pittsburgh Steelers tackle and former Army Ranger and Bronze Star recipient Alejandro Villanueva why he chose to stand for the anthem in the tunnel, the only player from the team to do so. Villanueva’s jersey sales have now skyrocketed in only a day. Jon Schwarz from the left leaning site The Intercept wrote “The National Anthem is a Celebration of Slavery”
The left has chosen to make kneeling for the national anthem now a referendum on Trump himself. A larger problem for them, and the NFL in general, is they picked this fight on a day meant to honor Gold Star mothers.