By Chris Stigall

If you’re someone who believes the latest row between President Trump and NFL players and owners is somehow a negative for Trump – you still don’t get it.  Maybe you’re still reading Mrs. Clinton’s book “What Happened” to figure it out.  Allow me to help.

Look, I’ll start by telling you I’m not keen on presidents weighing in on private sector, non-governmental matters.  That said – let’s not pretend Trump is the first or even close to the most egregious.  Remember who said cops acted stupidly, doctors cut off feet for profit, coal will be forced into bankruptcy, Christians shouldn’t get on their high horses, and I could go on.  But I’m not interested in writing a novel just yet.

That list is just some of President Obama’s eight years of greatest hits on things he had no business discussing, attacking, or parsing.  Yet, it didn’t stop him.  So spare me the “vapors” about Trump’s NFL comments.

Now, about what Trump said.  Last Friday at a rally in Alabama before a raucous crowd, the President mused, “Wouldn’t you like to see one of them (NFL owners to kneeling players) say ‘get that son of bitch off the field right now, he’s fired.  He’s fired!”

Should he have used curse words? Oh, I guess you could do without it if you’re someone who believes the presidency is something our children lean on as a surrogate parent.  Perhaps you’re someone concerned about the coarsening of our politics.  Yes, well, I still won’t explain Monica Lewinski and Anthony Weiner to my kids.  Trump’s language is the least of my concerns.

Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s long time political advisor lamented over the weekend Trump missed the opportunity to instruct the country and the NFL on what the flag symbolized and why it was bigger than any of our petty differences.  Hey, Karl! I’ve got news for you.  We already know and internalize all that.  That’s why we’re all so pissed.  (Sorry kids.)

Hello!  Donald Trump’s entire campaign was built on “Make America Great Again!”  People who voted for him believe the greatness of our nation and those who’ve fought and died to defend and protect her is threatened.  They understand the Bill of Rights.  They understand enemy threats are taking advantage of our ludicrous immigration system.  They understand we’re broke.  They understand the traditions and culture that make us unique are in the midst of an assault.

Trump voters stand for the flag in classrooms, at sports games, during parades and concerts, etc. because they believe that flag and the anthem are bigger than any one of them.  It’s not about them.  It’s about an idea.  It’s about the tiny one percent of them who lay their lives on the line when called to defend and protect the rest of us.  It’s about goodness and decency and the love of the gift of freedom never bestowed on another nation on Earth.  None of which is taken for granted or misunderstood.

Is there a hell of a lot wrong, or unjust, or broken in this nation? Sure.  Fine.  But the flag and the anthem are the beacon in that storm.  They symbolize what we strive to achieve and all we have achieved.  In other words, in sports parlance, “hate the player not the game.”

Donald Trump is talking to the majority – people who believe the country is inherently good and have no time for those who would tear it down.  Poll after poll says its not even close.  He tapped the rich vein of patriotism and pride of country that runs far deeper than spoiled, malcontent athletes on a football field.

When Trump comments on the Emmys, or Meryl Streep, or the NFL and their incessant attacks on anyone not part of their club – he inspires and speaks for those without a microphone and a fat bank account.  He speaks for his voters who are tired of being bullied by their “betters” on stages meant to entertain.

Perhaps Trump’s greatest gift is his ability to crystallize just who and what normal Americans are up against.  Every time pundits say he “lowers” himself commenting on sports, pop culture, etc. – I couldn’t disagree more profoundly.

He drives his opposition to such rage and hate they act in outrageous and unrelatable ways.   Viewers at home are watching as NFL players and owners are kneeling during the anthem and their favorite actors are participating in Hollywood hate-orgies masked as award shows.  Advantage Trump.

President Obama was famous for saying to anyone who opposed him, “That’s not who we are.” Yeah, well, the Emmys, Oscars, and the NFL sure as hell aren’t “who we are” either.

The battle lines are drawn.  It’s real America and their disposable incomes versus the privileged leftists with bully pulpits who depend on them.

If this was a game and I’m betting?  I’m betting on pride of country over love of TV, movies, and sports.  I’m betting on Trump.