Monday, September 26, 2016

Jesse Ventura's Strange Views about Protest





"I salute Colin Kaepernick. I fully support him...That's why I served my country, so that you have the freedom to protest...I don't have to agree with him, but I'll still respect his right to do it, and everyone should respect that. He shouldn't be booed".

..."When I was governor of Minnesota, the Dems and Repubs tried to nail me. You know what they did? They passed a law requiring the Pledge of Allegiance for all public school children. I immediately vetoed it. You know why? Because government should not mandate patriotism. Governments earn patriotism. You earn that. Who mandated patriotism? The Germans in the 1930's. They mandated patriotism. That's what we want to be? We wanna build walls now and be East Berlin?

This is such a mind-numbingly bad argument it's difficult to respond to, so I'm going to try to reconstruct it in simpler terms. 

P1. Colin Kaepernick should have the freedom to protest. 
P2. Government mandated patriotism can lead to tyranny similar to that found in Nazi Germany. 
C. Individuals shouldn't protest Colin Kaepernick's protest by booing. 

First off, I agree with Ventura that Kaepernick should have the right to protest. Where I disagree is with Ventura's belief that people who disagree with Kaepernick shouldn't express their disapproval with his protest, particularly by booing him. Isn't booing a form of protest? 

According to the Oxford dictionary, protest is defined as "a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something." Booing is defined as something "said to show disapproval or contempt."

I think Ventura is being a bit hypocritical when he criticizes protest when it is directed at protest. He seems to believe that expressing disapproval about a particular protest is equal to attacking the freedom to protest, which of course is ridiculous. 

I have to wonder if he would feel the same way about some of the protest put on by the Westboro Baptist church? Should we all shut up because saying anything against them would disrespect their right to protest?

Ventura's next stupefying move is to make the illogical connection between individuals expressing their disapproval about Kaepernick's protest and the tyranny of Nazi Germany. Strangely, he does this using the example of when the democrats and republicans tried to pass a law in Minnesota requiring school children to say the pledge of allegiance.

This is completely irrelevant to his argument. There is obviously a difference between the government mandating patriotism and individuals of the citizenry expressing their own patriotism. Booing Kaepernick is not a call for government suppression. On the contrary, it is individuals using their freedom of speech to express disapproval. Seems strange that Ventura, a guy that prides himself on his libertarian beliefs, isn't able to make this distinction.

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