What is it with our ruling elites? How did they come to have so much disdain for America? Some recent events have yet again brought this unfortunate situation to the surface.
Let’s start with Nike, the Portland, Oregon-based sportswear megacompany. It did not become a Fortune 100 corporation by chance or careless management.
Debuting as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, the firm under Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight officially adopted the Nike name in 1978 and the famous Swoosh logo in 1971.
The company is named after the Greek winged goddess of victory. The Swoosh is on everything from underwear to Tiger Woods’ golfing visor. From a shoestring operation, the firm now commands more than $36 billion in annual sales.
All this to say they knew exactly what they were doing when they signed Colin Kaepernick to a multi-million contract to be the most prominent face of their “Just Do It” campaign.
Mr. Kaepernick is portrayed in a closeup with the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
A former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Mr. Kaepernick has not been able to land a job in the NFL since taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to show solidarity with #blacklivesmatter, which churns out anti-police and other leftist narratives.
Mr. Kaepernick’s example led dozens of other players to kneel, prompting a public relations crisis which has yet to be resolved as the NFL season gets underway this week.
Team owners have been trying to finesse the issue by giving players the option of staying in the tunnel or standing on the field while the Star-Spangled Banner plays. This coyness has not been lost on fans, especially military veterans and their families who have truly “sacrificed everything” for their country.
In 2016, the player protests during the anthem were cited as a prime reason the NFL suffered an 8 percent decline in TV viewership, followed by a 10 percent decline in 2017.
Despite all this, Nike executives still played the Kaepernick card. My guess is that they’re gambling that this will endear them to younger consumers who have been marinated in anti-American cultural propaganda for years. So what if it caused an immediate 3 percent drop in Nike’s stock price and complaints from investors?
Nike execs will get high fives from the ruling elites in Portlandia and other Left Coast cities like Los Angeles.
Speaking of La La Land, the producers of the film “First Man,” a biopic of astronaut Neil Armstrong, are also apparently choosing political correctness over commercial viability. On July 20, 1969, the whole world saw the iconic image of Mr. Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin planting an American flag on the moon. But viewers of “First Man” won’t see it, because the filmmakers deliberately omitted it.
As actor Ryan Gosling, who plays Mr. Armstrong, put it, the historic moon landing “transcended countries and borders” and was “widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it.”
Is it any wonder that “everyday Americans” get the impression that the ruling elites who dictate culture don’t particularly care for them or America?
“Jack Ryan,” the new Tom Clancy-based streaming series on Amazon Prime starring former “Office” star John Krazinski, opens with a sympathetic portrayal of how two Islamic terrorists got radicalized. Then the writers strip Adm. James Greer, Jack Ryan’s CIA boss, of his military background and give him a Muslim identity.
But that’s okay because he is still a patriotic American fighting Muslim extremism. The rest of the series, which would rate at least an R for violence, language and sex, unfolds as a pro-American thriller. Mr. Krazinski, who played an action role in the politically incorrect 2016 film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” does it again admirably as Jack Ryan.
Which is a problem for Vanity Fair television critic Sonia Saraiya, who calls the series “an astonishing case study in toxic narratives.” She means that it pits the CIA as the good guys against Muslim terrorists, an ongoing struggle that the elites want to pretend doesn’t really exist except in bigots’ imaginations. Here’s how she concludes her article:
“Jack Ryan feels like a machine designed to turn us all into the sort of viewers who disappear smiling down jingoistic Fox News rabbit holes. It assumes that we — Americans, and America — are doing a good job. Talk about a fantasy.”
Progressives often insist they really, really love America. But they often sound like the creeps who beat up their spouses to show how much they care.
• Robert Knight is contributor to The Washington Times. His latest book is “A Strong Constitution: What Would America Look Like If We Followed the Law?” (djkm.org, 2018).