Free To Be A Jerk

By Lorana Hoopes

Trump on Twitter again. We shouldn’t be surprised; the man seems glued to that phone and Twitter. I think it must be something about his large ego needing to be stroked. Anyway, his latest debacle is wanting to punish people who burn the flag.

I really struggled with this because a part of me kind of agrees. My husband served in the military for 22 years, so the flag to me represents the seven months he spent away from me one month after we married. It represents the many nights I cried myself to sleep wondering if he would come home. The flag represents the six months out of every two years that he would be sent overseas to some foreign country. It represents the birth of our first son he almost missed (he was able to come home due to complications). It represents the many birthdays and Christmases that he spent away from his family. The flag represents all the tears I had to wipe off my children’s faces as they asked for the umpteenth time when daddy was coming home. The flag represents his sacrifice, and so when I see people disrespecting the flag, it fires me up. And it makes me wonder why they are even here.

If you don’t respect the flag of this country, how can you respect the country?

Perhaps that is what Trump was trying to get at, but as usual his “bigly” vocabulary got in the way and it came out wrong, just as it did when he said women who have abortions should be punished. The problem with Trump is that he speaks before thinking. And now that he is president-elect, he should spend more time thinking and less time speaking because Trump is forgetting one thing.

That flag also represents our freedom, and because of that, it represents the right for people to burn it. It represents the right for people to sit during the national anthem. It represents the right for people to protest. It may be that the actions aren’t really “right” but they are a right, and if we let him take away those rights, who is to stop him when he comes after other rights?

Perhaps instead of vilifying these people, we should be trying to find out what they dislike so much that they are willing to disrespect the symbol of so many sacrifices. We don’t have to like their actions, but as long as we consider ourself a free country, they have the right to. And when we stop considering ourself a free country. . .well let’s hope that doesn’t happen.


Lorana Hoopes is a Christian author who focuses on the inspirational with a touch of romance.Her books are available at Amazon.

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