One of the odious ways “the resistance” and Democrats have “violated democratic norms” in order to destroy the Trump Presidency is to rob this President of his traditional ceremonial role in national life, the so called “king” function, which exists to unify the nation. The king function comes from the acknowledgment that the President is the head of state and holds the people’s office as the only official (along with the VP) elected by every citizen. Beginning with their substantial boycott of his inauguration and continuing, indeed accelerating, with such insults as encouraging boycotts by recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors if the President participated and the White House Correspondents Dinner’s elimination–just for Trump, of course, of its tradition of a holding a good-natured one-night truce with whomever was President, this is a deliberate assault on national unity and the office itself.
The politicizing of the once routine and uncontroversial tradition of the President hosting a visit to the People’s House by championship professional and college athletic teams has been a particularly divisive part of the deligitimization strategy, putting teams and athletes into the position of rendering judgments on matters they are generally unqualified to consider, and encouraging grandstanding and virtue-signaling. With no previous President has accepting this honor been confused with endorsing the President’s character or policies. Women’s teams continued to accept invitations to be honored by Bill Clinton, for example, and if there were any critics of their decision, they had small megaphones and few adherents.
With this President, every invitation has become politically charged, and presented an opportunity for teams and athletes to insult the President of the United States. This irresponsible smear of the President and weakening of his office was neatly seeded by one of the many Big Lies weaponized, Goebbels-style, in pursuit of this President’s overthrow and destruction: “Donald Trump is a racist.” This one (there are others, and I hope to finish my survey of the lot today) has endured by being repeated so often, and by so many, usually without any supporting evidence because there is no evidence.
Never mind: this Big Lie had been practiced against most critics of the Obama Administration for 8 long, destructive, divisive years, and Democrats were expert at it. Thus various advocacy groups were handed a means by which to bully and push African American athletes, as well as other athletes who wanted to be seen as their allies, to publicly reject the invitation to the White House when it came. Delivering uch rejections and insults make the athletes involved tools of the resistance.
It’s a brilliant cognitive dissonance scale strategy. you see. Star athletes and championship sports teams sit high on the scale, as does, or did, the Presidency whoever is its temporary occupant. In this sports and celebrity besotted culture, athletes and sports teams are higher on the scales of many Americans…
…than more substantive figures. That’s why the strategy is brilliant and sinister. When the athletes are rated higher in positive regard, their rejection of a person, institution or position drives their target down the scale. (Attacking a person, institution or position higher on the scale is dangerous, because it can force the attacker down the scale.) Similarly, a high-scale figure publicly attaching something low on the scale, like racism, to a target, even one high on the sale as well, works to reduce the target’s regard by others.
Now the Boston Red Sox—my Boston Red Sox—have become the tools of the resistance, and engines of division, including their own. We saw hints that this was coming in March, when the World Series winners were invited to the White House and the organization accepted. Manager Alex Cora refused to commit to attending, saying he would decide later, and the team’s most prominent and popular African-American player, Mookie Betts, whose father is a Vietnam veteran, soon announced that he would not be going, without specifying why.
The Sox are scheduled to meet the President this week. Cora announced over the weekend that he would attend, not because the President is a racist, but because Cora is Puerto Rican, and the island is still in a protracted spat with Trump over the hurricane damage and the federal response, with both parties substantially at fault. I think this puts the red Sox manager in a special category, but as the leader of the team, his decision caused a stampede. Now the players refusing to go include all of the African-American and Latino players (except one, so far):
Jackie Bradley Jr.
The players attending, along with Red Sox officials, are all white, with slugger J.D. Martinez so far keeping his decision unannounced:
Boston remains a racially-divided city, so naturally, one of the city’s many asshole sportswriters decided to through social media gasoline on the metaphorical fire. Steve Buckley tweeted, “Alex Cora has confirmed newspaper report he will not make the trip to meet the president. So basically it’s the white Sox who’ll be going.”
Nice. Predictably, pitcher David Price, a popular team member who often shwos the judgment of a 15-year-old, helped drive a wedge into his own team, previously noted for its excellent chemistry, by re-tweeting Buckley, adding, “I just feel like more than 38k should see this tweet…” , referring to his own larger Twitter audience.
He’s a jerk. There is no benign interpretation of his conduct; it can do no good, and will probably cause significant tension among and between his team mates.
But this is what “the resistance” has wrought: hate and division, pitting gullible athletes against each other and their fans and cities, all in order to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election.