The reactionary push-back protests across the NFL would appear to indicate a major gaff on President Trump’s part. Not so fast. Time and time again the mainstream media and left-leaning partisans rush to judgement to roast and skewer the first-term politician. Most of them haven’t yet cleaned all the egg off their faces. That’s because the billionaire property mogul and reality TV star was politically correct to take off the gloves and give anthem protesters a First Amendment smackdown.
The Political Correctness Tool
For those that recall the height of the political correctness movement, it basically sought to rein in unwelcome perspectives and opposing ideologies. The idea was, and remains, to make the other side look like villains through accusations of racism, sexism, white privilege, and homophobia among other hot topics. It resulted in the “identity politics” favored by Democrats and is one huge reason Liberals don’t denounce violent gangs such as Antifa. It’s all just politics, plain and simple. It’s about pushing a train of thought and backing the people who adopt it, vote a ticket and put money into a campaign fund. Political correctness is really just getting things “politically right” and keep the benefits rolling.
Why Bashing the NFL Protestors Makes Political Sense
To say Democrat leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were doing a touchdown celebration after the Twitter-in-Chief socked NFL kneelers would be a gross understatement. They appeared to have scored with their base of Extreme Lefties. But from the Trump Administration stance, the numbers tell a different tale. It has been widely reported that NFL TV ratings have been dropping for the first time in about 30 years due to the Colin Kaepernick-inspired revolt. League revenue has backslid and ticket sales have tanked for several teams.
From a Trumpian perspective, NFL fans come from all walks of life. The biggest slice are middle class families that helped swing the November election in his favor. Many have strong feelings about the National Anthem and ties to friends and family members in the military and law enforcement. They are none too happy. Those who aren’t fully offended are annoyed that the focus of home-team pride has become anti-police or anti-American visuals.
Trump, playing the long game of political acumen, has again tapped into a simmering middle and working-class anger. In many sports fans’ eyes, the NFL protestors are overly privileged millionaires doing nothing more than making a mockery of the flag, anthem and professional football. In terms of political correctness, Trump has pushed the anti-political correct hot-button and enflamed his base, drawing new potential voters to his side. Elections are not won at the far right or far left, they are won or lost in the middle. More of the middle moved into Trump Tower on football Sunday.
The Curious Case of Alejandro Villanueva
During the recent anti-Trump backlash protests, Alejandro Villanueva, an Army Ranger who did three tours in Afghanistan, was the lone Pittsburg Steeler to stand and salute during the National Anthem. In the 24 hours after his display of patriotism, his jersey sales leapt to No. 1 past the likes of future Hall of Fame QB, Tom Brady, new Eagles star, Carson Wentz, Cowboys signal caller, Dak Prescott, and Green Bay’s Aaron Rogers. Until his breaking ranks with teammates and coaches that declined to take the field for the anthem, he was a little-known offensive lineman who never even made the Pro Bowl. Of note, none of the top NFL jersey sellers have protested during the singing of the National Anthem. The numbers don’t lie.
Not only was President Trump politically correct to sock NFL players, he was once again politically smart.