Things get tense for VP Pence as NFL Anthem stunts continue

Vice President Mike Pence left an NFL game Sunday after the latest 49er "protest" against the national anthem. He was criticized for his "publicity stunt."

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in a Broadway production of Samuel Beckett's absurdist drama, "Waiting for Godot." (Image via Wikipedia entry on the play, CC 2.0 license)

CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 9, 2017 – Back in the 50s and early 60s there was a movement in the performing arts that came to be known as “Theatre of the Absurd.” Playwrights who embraced “the absurd” largely modeled their new dramatic on the philosophy of existentialism, presenting on stage a bleak landscape populated with lost characters as one way to express what happens when human existence ceases to have meaning or purpose.

The result in most of these plays is that all attempts at communication eventually break down. Sound familiar? Perhaps like the current charade of 21st century media.

The MSM’s ongoing Theatre of the Absurd has gotten to the point where preening, overpaid media personalities have become so desperate for news and so enslaved by socialist propaganda that they are beginning to sound like bickering children on a playground:

“Well he hit me first!”
“That’s because you voted for Trump.”
“Yeah, because Michelle Obama would never wear high heel shoes to a disaster area.”
“No because she would be getting ready for the next fundraiser while her husband was playing golf.”
“Well at least Michelle has some class.”
“No she didn’t and she couldn’t coordinate her wardrobe either.”
“Oh yeah. You know what, you’re just being ugly.”
“No, you’re ugly. And bigoted too.”
“Am not.”
“Are so.”

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Case in point: The big stink of the day is that Vice President Mike Pence attended a professional football game on Sunday in his home state of Indiana. When several players on the 49ers predictably refused to stand for our National Anthem, Pence left the stadium after the anthem concluded.

Some observers said it was all planned, that it was a big publicity stunt by the administration to add fuel to the fire.

So what if that is true? Does the NFL have a lock on who can draw attention to themselves for publicity? Hollywood celebrities do it. Other presidents have done it. Does anyone remember that stupid beer summit President Obama held at the White House after he wrongly attacked the Boston police for doing their job? Or Bill Clinton “accidentally” finding rocks on a Normandy beach and bending down to form a cross with the stones?

Note, there are no rocks of the size Clinton “discovered” scattered about the Normandy beaches.

This variety of real-life Theatre of the Absurd persists today, particularly with regard to the latest nonsense in the worlds of professional football and entertainment in general. When NFL players “take a knee” or when Meryl Streep takes advantage a free stage and microphone to spout her hate-filled opinions to the world, it is called “freedom of speech.” But if the Vice President walks out of a football game in protest, it’s a “publicity stunt.”

Does this double standard mean the NFL and Hollywood are the only ones in the country who have or can exercise First Amendment rights? Does it mean that our own Vice President cannot speak out without being chastised for being a publicity monger?

Free speech is either a right for every American or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways, even though the media absurdly believes that you can.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if our Founding Fathers returned to America today and started the Constitutional process anew? They would probably take a look at how poorly we have interpreted their ideas and catch the first plane back to England.

In case no one recalls, Mike Pence was elected along with Donald Trump to govern all of the people, not some of them. The player who launched the current anti-National Anthem antics, Colin Kaepernick, was nothing more than a second-rate quarterback who decided he was bigger and more important than the game that made him rich.

As for Hollywood virtue-signalers, while someone like Meryl Streep can memorize lines with the best of them and and credibly master an infinite number of accents, big deal. How does that qualify her to lecture us on our political choices?

Streep is an actress. A very good one, but nevertheless a performer, not a leader. Same with Kaepernick. Applying the guidelines established by the media for expressing their faux outrage at Pence, how do we know for sure that Streep and Kaepernick were not “performing” as well?

It’s high time for the ridiculous playground banter by the aggressively uninformed to come to a halt.

Last week Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was raked over the coals for a harmless comment he made to a female reporter. Newton apologized, but he shouldn’t have even felt the need to do so. His response was merely the expression of an immature athlete having some fun. There was nothing malicious or sexist in his tone. But news reports made it sound as though he was one football length shy of the Marquis de Sade.

Lighten up people.

Lets get upset about real news rather than made up controversies that detract from the genuine problems we face in the world today. The alternative is to continue dealing with the media’s increasingly tiresome Theatre of the Absurd.

Publicity stunt or not, as was his right, Mike Pence spoke out in protest against the continuing actions of players who continue to carry on with anti-American stunts that sports fans aren’t tuning in to see. The same rights that allow the 49ers to drop to a knee during the National Anthem and Meryl Streep to display her invincible ignorance to the world.

About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (
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