Trump's clinical narcissism continues to damage the country on a daily basis. By making the NFL anthem protests all about himself (because he makes everything about himself, he can't help it) he's now taking aim at the tenet of freedom of expression, something that Trump can no longer tolerate as he views these protests as personal attacks. When given the powers of the presidency, Trump will always use them to enforce loyalty and accolade by fiat.
President Trump is urging supporters to sign a petition declaring that they believe in standing for the national anthem — his latest effort to put pressure on the NFL over players who kneel in protest during the anthem.
"The President has asked for a list of supporters who stand for the National Anthem. Add your name below to show your patriotism and support," says the petition by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a fundraising group.
The petition was also promoted by the Republican National Committee on Twitter and its website. It does not say how many signatures it has garnered so far.
The petition came days after NFL team owners, executives and players met in New York, where they decided that the league would not implement a rule forcing players to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said after the meeting that, while players are encouraged to stand for the anthem, there would be no formal rule making it mandatory for them to do so.
Goodell said he understood the concerns of the players — who are seeking to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality — but he hopes the league can bring the total number of protesters down to zero.
The decision came amid a prolonged feud between Trump and the NFL that began last month when he called on football teams to fire players who took a knee. The demonstrations began last year with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been unable to find a new team after leaving the 49ers.
To recap, Donald Trump's reaction to an NFL quarterback who lost his job because he exercised his right to free speech and silently demonstrated against brutal police violence against black bodies in the United States was to:
- declare the protests offensive to the country and flag,
- declare the protests disrespectful to veterans,
- question the patriotism of protesters,
- take the protests personally as an attack on himself,
- encourage NFL fans to punish the league until the protests stop,
- attack the demonstrators personally using social media,
- demand himself that the demonstrations stop,
- demand that the employers of the protesters make the protests stop or suffer financial consequences and now in the last 24 hours,
- have his party create a loyalty pledge for his position on the protests, and
- fundraise off the controversy he has created.
He has been doing this for several weeks now, and again his pathology over the years is to take protests by people of color as personal insults, to declare these insults as attacks on those who support him, and then encourage his followers to institute collective punishment as revenge.
He especially hates black and Latina women, but also famous black men, like Obama and Kaepernick. I'm a black man and I've accepted that the asshole in the White House hates me because I am black. But it is exponentially worse for women of color.