I tried to find a way to sugar coat this. I even tried to come up with excuses for this abhorrent behavior, for these terrible choices. I got nothin’.
It’s time to point out that the Vice-President of the United States of America went out of his way to use his position to undermine the First Amendment rights of Americans. And he used about $242,500 in taxpayer funds to do it.
This is not about disrespecting our soldiers. Hell our military veterans fight for us to have and keep our Constitutional rights.
This is not about disrespecting the American flag.
This is not about disrespecting the National Anthem even though it’s not a suitable anthem for the United States we’re supposed to be working toward.
This isn’t about Pence ignoring the white nationalists back in Charlottesville again this past weekend though it’s reprehensible that our executives are still perfectly fine with Nazis marching in the streets, intimidating people of color/Jews/etc., chanting about how Russia is our friend. Russia IS NOT our friend. (And why is that hideous monument to suffering and cruelty and treason, the statue of Lee, still in that park in Charlottesville?!)
This isn’t even about Pence remaining silent as people all over the country, including professional athletes, violate actual U.S. code regarding the flag. He’s clear this has never been about respect or the flag or whatever.
Nobody at that Colts game, least of all those kneeling during the anthem, intended disrespect to any of those things, and Pence, unless he is even dumber than 45 (and that’d be a hell of a trick), knows full well that our professional athletes kneel during the anthem to call attention to unequal treatment in this country especially when it comes to police brutality against our non-white brothers and sisters. Player’s peaceful, silent protest is protected by the First Amendment of our Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Mike Pence has the right to free speech, too, of course, but he is not only a citizen anymore; he is the Vice-President of the United States. He has responsibilities as an elected official to ALL Americans, and those responsibilities and promises supersede Pence’s personal feelings and opinions when it comes to our rights. This is reflected in his oath of office:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Don’t get me started on the “God” part of the oath in this post about undermining our First Amendment rights. I’ll start growling, possibly hissing and/or yelling, and it’ll be a whole thing. . .
Pence swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. Against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Right?
Then this past Sunday our Vice-President used our tax money and his power, his office, to protest Americans exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, to peaceful protest.
His job is to defend every citizen’s rights, including the first one: free speech. Instead Mike Pence, Vice-President of the United States of America, used his power, his position in our government, to try to suppress that speech. This one is up there with the President declaring that the news media is “the enemy of the American people.” This is huge, and it’s bad. Very bad.
Considering his position, that would make Mike Pence one of those domestic enemies he swore to protect us from, wouldn’t it? And when we remember that the President put him up to this shitty stunt, it looks an awful lot like both of them are domestic enemies. And wannabe dictators.
It’s time for them both to GO, to get the fuck out of our White House, our government, our lives.
If we let them take our First Amendment rights we have nothing left. This is HUGE, Americans. Stand up for your rights, for the rights our soldiers have fought and died for for more than 200 years. Stand up to the President and the Vice-President because they sure as hell aren’t standing up for you.
Link: “MIKE PENCE SPENT NEARLY $250,000 TO WALK OUT OF A FOOTBALL GAME” – by Bess Levin at Vanity Fair
Link: “Indigenous Peoples Day: 4 Things to Know” – by Aura Bogado at Teen Vogue (Monday, 9 October 2017 this year, same day I started writing this post)
Link: “Video Shows Two Baptist Students Throwing Drinks on Kneeling Black Men” – by Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist
Link: 319 U.S. 624, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (No. 591), Argued: March 11, 1943, Decided: June 14, 1943. Short version: government officials cannot force anyone to participate in patriotic rituals (including the Pledge of Allegiance or standing for National Anthem).
Link to original post from Vice-President Mike Pence.
Edited to include link to Friendly Atheist post, an example of how the President and Vice-President of the United States divide people, and encourage hateful behavior and disrespectful choices. 1130 hours on 10 Oct 2017
#AbuseOfPower #ImpeachTrumpAndPence #BLM