Stand Up for America!

Girl holding an American flag under a blue sky.  She stands up for America.

When I get junk email I open it, scroll to the bottom of the message and find the tiny little button that says “Opt-Out”.  I love the opt-out button.  With one simple click, I rid myself of the annoying cascade of mail that chokes my inbox.  Opt-out works in this situation.  But it doesn’t work in every situation.  Unfortunately, many people think they can “opt-out” of just about everything.  In the past two weeks, I’ve seen appalling examples of people opting out of situations and responsibilities.  In a couple of these examples, high-profile people decide to remain seated for our national anthem or the announcement of accomplishments by our country and its unsung heroes.  This is disrespectful at the least, and un-American in the extreme. 

Everyone has a right to express themselves.  And we don’t have to agree on everything.  But in some cases, we need to look past our individual agendas and acknowledge the privilege we all enjoy as citizens of the United States.  There are times to put differences aside, stand up for America and celebrate our success. Be proud to be an American and show it.

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Stop Intentional Disrespect

Over 100 million people watched the recent Superbowl.  Entertainers Beyonce and Jay-Z, attended the game and watched it from a luxury box in the stadium.  They did not stand for the national anthem.  Jay Z released a statement saying it was not premeditated and not a protest.  It really doesn’t matter.  The fact is, they sat during the national anthem.  It shows either an incredible lack of awareness or intentional disrespect. 

Athletes have been “opting out” of standing for the national anthem for several years.  Celebrities have done the same.  Personal ideological differences with the leadership of this country is their cited as a reason to sit out. Perceived societal injustice is another reason often cited. They should think more about the positive things happening in our country.  This country provides opportunities to every who works hard and has ambition, belief, and courage.  These celebrities and athletes get the opportunity to make millions of dollars by playing games, singing, dancing, and acting on stage.  They should be grateful to America for their opportunities and show some respect.

Celebrate Our Shared Success

Donald Trump recently gave the annual State of Union address on national Television.  The bad behavior on display during the speech was odious.  The President announced record low unemployment, record-setting labor participation rates, and celebrating ordinary citizens who have done extraordinary things.  These are all good things that help every American.  During that time, most democrats sat in silence.  Nancy Pelosi ripped up a printed copy of the speech in full view. 

What is wrong with these people?   I understand the divide between political parties.  I acknowledge republicans sat silently during speeches given by democrat presidents.  This is just bad behavior, regardless of their party affiliation.  If anyone cannot stand to celebrate America’s achievements or the resiliency of its ordinary citizens, they should not have the privilege of being in office.  To be callous to our success and show contempt in the face of our achievements is un-American.  Stand Up!  Not for the current leadership but for the country who offers us so much and stands as a shining example of hope and opportunity to the world.