The Twitter event of the weekend was Vice President Mike Pence and Mrs. Pence walking out of the Colts game in Indianapolis, in a counter-protest of the players’ protest during the national anthem.
His parting tweet said, “I left today’s Colts game because [the president] and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
But reporters immediately suspected this might not have been a spontaneous taking of offense, since they’d been told to stay on the press bus because the VP, they were told, probably wouldn’t be gone long.
What I want to understand, though, is what this means in terms of how the rest of us are supposed to show our patriotism.
The tweet implies that Mr. Pence had been looking forward to staying for the whole game – which the Colts won in overtime by the way – until it became an event “that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, and our National Anthem.”
At which point he felt the only choice he had was to leave, to show that he not only respects the anthem but refuses to tolerate those who don’t.
Well, if that sets the new bar for patriotism – what does it say about the 64,000 fans who stayed?
Would that mean that by staying, those fans chose to dignify an event that disrespected America’s soldiers, the flag, and the national anthem?
It certainly would – assuming that’s what the players are protesting. Except I’m hearing now that taking a knee has become more about protesting the President’s decision to exploit this issue.
Which would then imply that by staying, the crowd was disrespecting Donald Trump himself. That might be even worse.