Understanding Colin Kaepernick

Those who say that Colin Kaepernick is a patriot acting in the finest tradition of American dissent thoroughly misunderstand the outspoken quarterback. This view was probably a stretch back when Kaepernick was simply disrespecting America by kneeling during the National Anthem.

Now, the view is untenable. Two recent developments show that Kaepernick’s behavior falls within the worst tradition of American dissent — the tradition of the totalitarian-sympathizing far left.

Consider first Kaepernick’s response to Fidel Castro’s death. As John reported here, Kaepernick took a “mixed” view of the bloodthirsty tyrant:

I agree with [Castro’s] investment in education. I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement with him in helping end apartheid in South Africa. I would hope that everyone believes those things are good things. Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did is just not true

This is almost exactly what American communists of my acquaintance used to say about Mao. The line went: “He’s done some good things and some bad things. We should praise the good and criticize the bad.”

When I reported this line to my father, a socialist, he said it was exactly what he used to hear from communist sympathizers about Stalin. He also gave me the impression that he’d be desperately disappointed if I adopted this line.

Now consider the fact that Kaepernick didn’t vote in the presidential election this year. I’ve heard liberals say his decision not to vote for Hillary Clinton shows that Kaepernick isn’t serious.

Nonsense. Not voting for Hillary Clinton is exactly what one would expect from a serious far leftist. From Kaepernick’s perspective, to vote for Clinton over Donald Trump would be, in the words of a communist acquaintance of mine during the late 1960s, to “play good imperialist, bad imperialist.”

If you truly believe that American democracy is a hoax and that there is no real difference between Democrats and Republicans, you are either the ultimate cynic or the captive of an extreme anti-American ideology.

Colin Kaepernick is not a cynic.