Letters to the Editor

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

In a remarkable display of nationalism and suppression, Board of Contributors columnist Susan Ritter (who seems stuck in the 1940s) believes that NFL players should be condemned for not standing during the playing of the national anthem. Ms. Ritter needs to realize that unlike oppressive countries such as Egypt and Turkey, people in the United States actually have a right to protest against their government if they so wish.

She sings the praises of her family members who were in the military during World War II, while totally ignoring the fact that for decades after that war, the U.S. military has unleashed more death and destruction upon more people than any other country. While I was in Vietnam those many years ago, I certainly was not there to ensure the freedom of people living in this country. I was there, along with hundreds of thousands of other members of the military, to justify the lies which we were given by our less-than-honest government.

If Ms. Ritter does not wish to see players protesting then, as she herself points out, she is certainly free not to watch those games just as the NFL players have a right under the First Amendment not to stand during the playing of the national anthem — which has no connection whatsoever to a sporting event except, apparently, to roil the emotions of its gullible football fans. To recall a slogan from the 1960s, which is extremely germane today, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

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