[L]et’s be clear: The anthem and the flag symbolize the ideal of equality that America stands for, not those who failed to live up to those ideals. If you take a knee during the national anthem, you are not protesting racism in your country, you are protesting your country. There is a difference. You are not objecting to an evil that exists in America; you are saying America is evil. You are not saying we still have a long way to go in our journey toward full equality. You are saying that this country — where majorities twice voted to elect a black president — is fundamentally racist. And you are saying that the American flag and the American military are symbols of oppression.
Let’s be clear: Marc Thiessen isn’t a mind-reader or an infallible guide to symbolism. He’s a token conservative at the Washington Post, hired to say provocative things, Fox-newsish things. His ilk is one reason why I’m unbothered that none of the conservatives at the New York Times support Donald Trump: Trumpism has yet to find an articulation that is defensible.