The Constitution of the United States of America defines a limited federal republic. It was designed for the protection of the rights of the governed. It bound those in power by the rule of law. It provided that rights exist against government and that rights precede government, they having been endowed in man by God. It created a system of checks and balances intended to separate and limit power such that no single person or entity could possess combined legislative, executive and judicial powers, which the founding fathers defined as tyranny. It made office holders the servants of the people.
No other nation on earth before or since has adopted a written Constitution so perfectly suited to provide for the common defense and the general welfare while simultaneously forbidding the exercise of power in derogation of the rights of life, liberty and property. No other nation before or since has so closely mirrored in practice the natural rights philosophy of John Locke, the separation of powers doctrine of Montesquieu, and the rule of law doctrine of Samuel Rutherford. We are a nation of laws, not of men, the founding fathers were fond of saying. Governments are instituted among men to protect the rights of the governed, our Declaration of Independence enshrines.
Americans in each generation have fought and died to keep America free, to defend the Constitution, and to defend the rights of free people to live in peace. And while time has tested each of these concepts and our modern federal government has violated our Constitution, the Constitution and the symbols of liberty, the American flag and the national anthem, remain fundamental reminders of our ideological origins and the fact that the fight for liberty against tyranny is never ending.
It is disgraceful when a person who benefits from the blessings of liberty rejects the very source of his own prosperity and seizes the limelight to communicate that betrayal, like San Francisco 49ers Quarter Back Colin Kaepernick, who has chosen to cast aspersion on our nation and reject the symbols of liberty, a liberty without which he would be nothing. And although Kaepernick and the other civilians who follow him have an undoubted right, in the face of the government and on their own property, to express hatred for the symbols of liberty no matter how vile that expression may be, they are bound by the wishes of those private property owners who give them a license to use their property for a limited purpose, in Kaepernick’s case, to play football on NFL fields owned by different leagues.
California is the only state in the Union which has erroneously construed the right of free speech to apply against private property owners in certain instances, but under the federal Constitution the matter is clear. Private parties who own property possess the right of free speech and editorial control over that property. Consequently, if the owners of a football team wish to insist that players avoid disparaging the flag, the national anthem, and the Constitution, they may do so, just as they may prohibit private activities by their players which cast aspersion on the team, as a matter of contract. Because the right to free speech on private property inures in the first instance to the benefit of the property owner, who has absolute editorial control over that property, the York family owners of the San Francisco 49ers are complicit in Kaepernick’s repudiation of allegiance to the United States when they allow his dissent on their property and condone that dissent through inaction.
Those who love the liberty given them by this country more than life itself would never tolerate the disgraceful dissent of Kaepernick on the property they own. Take, for example, Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, whose reaction to Kaepernick and followers is direct and profound.
This past week Jones warned his coaches, players and field staff: “You are all simply paid performers on a stage and that field is my stage! You will stand, with your hand over your heart and with respect, when our Country’s National Anthem is being played or you will no longer be a Dallas Cowboy, a Coach for the Dallas Cowboys or have any association with the Dallas Cowboy Organization! I will immediately fire you, no matter who you are!”
I salute Jerry Jones. He is a descendant of the true friends of liberty, the American patriots in every age who risked their reputations, property, and even their lives to defend this country against enemies of liberty foreign and domestic. He has staked his reputation, all he owns in defense of this country. He will not let those he employs disgrace his country, their team, and the fans. He owns the stage, and he expects those who perform on it to honor this country with their allegiance to the symbols of liberty, the flag and the anthem, or get off the field and lose their pay. He has set the proper example for the NFL owners and has sent the right signal to the players. His action begs the ultimate question: Where do all of the other NFL owners stand?
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