Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Does America Mean Freedom to be a Jerk?  Yes!

 

I thought it was a mistake to react to Colin Kaepernick’s antics. He is a moron but is treated as a serious person by many due in part to his critics’ over-reaction. similarly, I am largely indifferent to the ever-so-five-minutes-ago angry-lesbian-progressive shtick of Megan Rapinoe that has upset so many.

The fact is, unless and until you infringe on somebody else’s rights, you can be an ignorant moron in America. Unlike sex, race or IQ, acting like a buffoon is a choice and the Bill of Rights is all about those kinds of choices.

The downside of this, the Golden Age of Self-Expression is that none of us knew beforehand that there would a test and that the state of our knowledge would be so ruthlessly exposed so often. There was a time not so long ago, when one could be ignorant in many areas, quietly rely on respected persons or friends for guidance and never be called out. How many morons got to be on national TV or global social media in 1850? How many people were urged to endorse utterly stupid memes or fads back then? It was simpler to be a moron in the old days.

Granted, the nation would be better off with fewer morons but let’s not pretend they are all that rare. They can be seen on the big screen and on Broadway. Many of those who bring us bring us our news are only a red nose and a pair of big shoes away from living their true nature. Nutballs start religious cults, bogus health fads and/or fear being re-probed by aliens. Hell, we elect overt morons to all levels of public office.

It is a tribute to our generosity and confidence as a people that someone who is blissfully ignorant of history, culture, past and present politics, science, math, logic and good manners can act out without fear of formal sanction.

If a thousand African-Americans averaging several million dollars per year in the NBA/MLB/NFL think America is a racist hell hole, if like AOC, the “equal pay” soccer crowd is really not good at math and finance and if Jim Acosta somehow thinks himself competent and courageous, we should remind them all to be grateful that nobody requires them to be well-informed, self-aware or even normal. There are no competency pre-reqs for using First Amendment rights.

Keep perspective, my friends. What this nation lacks is a much larger volume of laughter at the human comedy that unfolds all around us. All we need a new word that means “I celebrate your right to be a buffoon, you buffoon.”

Cheers.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 24 comments.

  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Old Bathos: Many of those who bring us bring us our news are only a red nose and a pair of big shoes away from living their true nature.

    Love this. You are right. More and more I find that when people are saying stupid stuff, I can choose to ignore them. They’ve reached the stage (most of the time) of being an irritating gnat buzzing nearby; I can stop that by just moving away.

    We only feed their egos when we give them so much attention, although it’s so hard to stifle my initial reaction. But then, I just move along . . .

    • #1
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Be it resolved that whereas,

    1. America means freedom to be a jerk,
    2. Colin Kaepernick’s antics are the actions of a jerk,
    3. overreacting to Colin Kaepernick’s antics is the action of a jerk, and
    4. taking advantage of overreactions to Colin Kaepernick’s antics in order to legitimize Colin Kaepernick’s antics is the action of a jerk,

    it therefore logically follows that absolutely everybody who comments on l’affaire Kaepernick is being quintessentially American.

    ;-)

    • #2
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:27 PM PST
    • 19 likes
  3. Kay of MT Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    of being an irritating gnat buzzing nearby; I can stop that by just moving away.

    I’d like to swat ’em!

    • #3
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:31 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  4. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Old Bathos: the “equal pay” soccer crowd is really not good at math and finance

    The soccer team could increase their income from endorsements, if they acted with a lot of class. The NFL wrapped itself in the flag and made billions. Tiger Woods stayed apolitical and classy and made nearly a billion. The “Miracle on Ice” guys are still making endorsement/speaking money 35 years after winning gold! Yet, the Women’s team has chosen to be political and trashy and that will cost them. I realize it is not the whole team, but when it comes to endorsements, a team is only as strong as its weakest player. If they don’t care about their team reputation and the program, why should we?

    • #4
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:32 PM PST
    • 25 likes
  5. Vance Richards Member

    Old Bathos: Does America Mean Freedom to be a Jerk? Yes!

    A freedom I exercise a bit too much, but a freedom nonetheless.

    • #5
    • July 9, 2019, at 1:40 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  6. thelonious Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Be it resolved that whereas,

    1. America means freedom to be a jerk,
    2. Colin Kaepernick’s antics are the actions of a jerk,
    3. overreacting to Colin Kaepernick’s antics is the action of a jerk, and
    4. taking advantage of overreactions to Colin Kaepernick’s antics in order to legitimize Colin Kaepernick’s antics is the action of a jerk,

    it therefore logically follows that absolutely everybody who comments on l’affaire Kaepernick is being quintessentially American.

    ;-)

    Kaepernick figured out a way to monetize being a jerk which might be the most quintessentially American thing of all.

    • #6
    • July 9, 2019, at 3:13 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  7. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    This isn’t a Golden Age of Self-Expression, this an Age of Progressive Cultural Totalitarianism. The actions of people like Kaepernick are intended to expand upon this reality by making conservatives cultural targets and excluding us from public life. That is why every new ‘idiocy’ quickly becomes a cause within Progressive institutions. It is not only right, but necessary to robustly respond to such ‘antics’ for the sake of self preservation.

    People have the right to be jerks…..and conservatives have the right and obligation to take measures against weaponized idiocy from the Left.

    Edit: Or to paraphrase a quote that is all-too-often forgotten by its originator; they intend to make you care, and will impose their idiocy upon you if you don’t stop them.

    • #7
    • July 9, 2019, at 3:18 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  8. KentForrester Coolidge

    Here’s what might be the best way to oppose the jerks like Nike, Facebook, and their lot: Stop buying their stuff and tell them why. I’ve bought Nikes most of my life, but I will never buy another pair of Nikes, despite Phi Knight donating big bucks to my alma mater and despite the main campus of Nike being just a few miles away in Beaverton. 

    Yes, everyone has the right to be a jerk, but everyone also has the right to tell them, again and again, “You’re a big jerk!”

    • #8
    • July 9, 2019, at 4:42 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  9. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Here’s what might be the best way to oppose the jerks like Nike, Facebook, and their lot: Stop buying their stuff and tell them why. I’ve bought Nikes most of my life, but I will never buy another pair of Nikes, despite Phi Knight donating big bucks to my alma mater and despite the main campus of Nike being just a few miles away in Beaverton.

    Yes, everyone has the right to be a jerk, but everyone also has the right to tell them, again and again, “You’re a big jerk!”

    I’m perennially asked to boycott products I don’t buy in the first place.

    It always leaves me feeling ever so left out. It’s very depressing. 

    • #9
    • July 9, 2019, at 4:44 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  10. Western Chauvinist Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Here’s what might be the best way to oppose the jerks like Nike, Facebook, and their lot: Stop buying their stuff and tell them why. I’ve bought Nikes most of my life, but I will never buy another pair of Nikes, despite Phi Knight donating big bucks to my alma mater and despite the main campus of Nike being just a few miles away in Beaverton.

    Yes, everyone has the right to be a jerk, but everyone also has the right to tell them, again and again, “You’re a big jerk!”

    I’m perennially asked to boycott products I don’t buy in the first place.

    It always leaves me feeling ever so left out. It’s very depressing.

    Have you joined the Buycott group? Anyone can do that!

    • #10
    • July 9, 2019, at 4:56 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. I Walton Member

    Good article. How to play the idiots? I have no power to influence them, my comments are meaningless, I suppose I just don’t watch, don’t buy what is advertised by the media that makes a big deal of it, if I remember, but they usually advertise cars or other things I don’t buy very often and will buy always on other criteria at the time. On the other hand they have influence and that isn’t good and they grow but primarily because our schools support such idiocy. Public schools should be the focus. My grandchildren don’t go to such schools so I only know about them from the media which I don’t watch. 

    • #11
    • July 10, 2019, at 5:09 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Michael Brehm Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Does America Mean Freedom to be a Jerk? Yes!

    A freedom I exercise a bit too much, but a freedom nonetheless.

    To paraphrase, spindle, and mutilate the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “the line dividing ‘jerk’ and ‘not a jerk’ cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

    Everyone plays the jerk at some point in their lives; but hopefully, you don’t have a thousand eyes on you when it’s your turn to fill the role. 

    • #12
    • July 10, 2019, at 5:29 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. Front Seat Cat Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Here’s what might be the best way to oppose the jerks like Nike, Facebook, and their lot: Stop buying their stuff and tell them why. I’ve bought Nikes most of my life, but I will never buy another pair of Nikes, despite Phi Knight donating big bucks to my alma mater and despite the main campus of Nike being just a few miles away in Beaverton.

    Yes, everyone has the right to be a jerk, but everyone also has the right to tell them, again and again, “You’re a big jerk!”

    Saucony is a far better shoe and no controversy.

    • #13
    • July 10, 2019, at 5:51 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Al Sparks Thatcher

    A fairly optimistic medium to long term perspective about the culture wars we’re now experiencing.

    There’s just one big problem about the aforementioned jerks. They want to use various tools, whether it be the government or big corporations (by endangering people’s jobs) to limit speech.

    And they go beyond just being irascible jerks. They also cheer on groups like antifa to mask up and take to the streets.

    Other countries with very similar cultures to ours, but with less free speech protections are already using the police to monitor social media sites to selectively sanction (including threats of jail) those who engage in “hate”, or to put it another way, act like jerks. Or worse, sanction those that just express a rational political argument against a “protected” group.

    And our jerks have the same vision for our country, and want to impose it on us. Our constitution can’t protect us from a Supreme Court with similar opinions.

    • #14
    • July 10, 2019, at 6:00 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    Old Bathos: There are no competency pre-reqs for using First Amendment rights.

    Thank goodness. The freedom of idiots to speak their minds is one of the best ways to identify them . . .

    • #15
    • July 10, 2019, at 6:16 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Watching the parade for the US women right now, and the crowd along the parade route is at best about 2-4 deep at the starting point. Given the hype that it was getting in the local media in NYC, that’s not great compared to say, a Yankees or Giants ticker tape parade through lower Manhattan, and part of the reason may be due to the fact that people follow sports in large part to get away from politics, and that’s not possible when some of the athletes don’t simply engage in it, but are treated as even greater heroes by the media for engaging in it.

    ESPN has been trying to back off their woke programming for the past 18 months since John Skipper left as president, because they discovered all the activists who demanded they program politics into their shows aren’t their target audience. Rapinoe and the women may find out as things play out that the activism has also limited their marketability other than within very limited niches (though I am waiting for someone to ask Megan is she’d be down with the cause if one or two of her teammates lost their spots to male soccer players who identify as women. My guess is wokeness would reach its limit at that point).

    • #16
    • July 10, 2019, at 6:47 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  17. Stad Thatcher

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Rapinoe and the women may find out as things play out that the activism has also limited their marketability other than within very limited niches

    My guess is Nike will scoop up Rapinoe in a heartbeat. Watch for rainbow flag sneakers in a store near you . . .

    • #17
    • July 10, 2019, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    This is a thoughtful take worth reading: An Open Letter to Megan Rapinoe, from America (As told to Joel Engel).

     

    • #18
    • July 10, 2019, at 8:12 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Vance Richards Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Rapinoe and the women may find out as things play out that the activism has also limited their marketability other than within very limited niches

    My guess is Nike will scoop up Rapinoe in a heartbeat. Watch for rainbow flag sneakers in a store near you . . .

    They already have those, but now maybe they can do that to a soccer shoe

    • #19
    • July 10, 2019, at 8:57 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. cdor Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: the “equal pay” soccer crowd is really not good at math and finance

    The soccer team could increase their income from endorsements, if they acted with a lot of class. The NFL wrapped itself in the flag and made billions. Tiger Woods stayed apolitical and classy and made nearly a billion. The “Miracle on Ice” guys are still making endorsement/speaking money 35 years after winning gold! Yet, the Women’s team has chosen to be political and trashy and that will cost them. I realize it is not the whole team, but when it comes to endorsements, a team is only as strong as its weakest player. If they don’t care about their team reputation and the program, why should we?

    I am not a fan of soccer. Yet here we had the USA women’s team in the championship game of the World Cup. Truthfully I tried to find earlier games, but couldn’t. It was amazing. But the Championship was finally center stage on Fox. I watched for two minutes. Like I said…not a soccer fan. But honestly, I am not a hockey fan either. Yet when I turned on the Stanley Cup final, those guys were amazing! Strong, athletic, agile, great hand-eye coordination, tough as nails–I loved it. I also had no built-in negative attitude about the individual players to keep me at arm’s length. Not so with women’s soccer. Because some of the women, especially the obvious team leader, had so disparaged that which I hold dear, it was impossible for me to not take her mean spirited statements to heart. I turned it off and deleted the program. If she wants “equal” pay, she should try to keep her mouth shut and stop demeaning half of her potential pay base.

    • #20
    • July 10, 2019, at 9:36 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    It’s a little strange that we’re spending so much time on this particular woke-scold, who sounds exactly like the other woke-scolds that have been non-stop, high-volume woke-scolding for the past three years (at least). Her only claim to fame seems to be that she plays a sport to which most Americans pay no attention.

    1. Play an obscure sport.

    2. Have silly, but fashionable ideas.

    3. Say the same stupid things everyone else says.

    4. ?

    5. Fame and applause.

    • #21
    • July 10, 2019, at 12:04 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  22. Stad Thatcher

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Rapinoe and the women may find out as things play out that the activism has also limited their marketability other than within very limited niches

    My guess is Nike will scoop up Rapinoe in a heartbeat. Watch for rainbow flag sneakers in a store near you . . .

    They already have those, but now maybe they can do that to a soccer shoe

    OTOH, unless they pay her the same as Kaepernick, she won’t sign on principle . . . naaaaaaa, she’d sign!

    • #22
    • July 11, 2019, at 6:31 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Rapinoe and the women may find out as things play out that the activism has also limited their marketability other than within very limited niches

    My guess is Nike will scoop up Rapinoe in a heartbeat. Watch for rainbow flag sneakers in a store near you . . .

    They already have those, but now maybe they can do that to a soccer shoe

    OTOH, unless they pay her the same as Kaepernick, she won’t sign on principle . . . naaaaaaa, she’d sign!

    Hmm, maybe Nike is jumping on these activist athletes because they’re willing to accept less lucrative sponsorship deals? I presume Kaepernick doesn’t get as much as Michael Jordan got. 

    • #23
    • July 11, 2019, at 8:49 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    Hmm, maybe Nike is jumping on these activist athletes because they’re willing to accept less lucrative sponsorship deals? I presume Kaepernick doesn’t get as much as Michael Jordan got. 

    This makes sense. What’s-her-name is transitioning from soccer into grievance-mongering, just as What’s-his-name transitioned from another type of football. It’s a pro sport now. They even have someone to call the games.

    https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/earwolf-premium/the-wokest-premium

    • #24
    • July 11, 2019, at 1:36 PM PST
    • 1 like