For those people both in the stadium and glued to the television sets at the beginning of the College Football National Championship Game, they witnessed the President of the United States, standing in the middle of the field before the start of the game. What came next was definitely surprising.
Donald Trump does not know the words to the National Anthem. He could sing along with a few phrases, mumbled some others, but it was painfully obvious that he can’t remember all the lyrics. We’re not talking about hitting the notes of the music – that can definitely be a challenge – but most of us at least can sing along with the first verse.
Even Fox News could only make the claim that Trump was able to stand for the National Anthem:
Nobody was expecting him to stand before the crowd and lead them in singing the anthem, although with as much noise as he has made about honoring the anthem and our flag, calling for football players who took a knee when the anthem is played, one would think the man would at least know the words to one of the most famous songs ever written. All he had to do was sing along with the thousands of other people in the stadium who had no trouble at all singing the words.
Or he could have remained silent, like the ROTC Honor Guard that accompanied him on the field, which would have been respectful as well. Instead, Trump proved – at one of the most highly viewed sports event of the year – that he literally does not know the words to the National Anthem.
Yes, in the general scheme of things, this is not necessarily in the top ten critical issues facing our country, but it is certainly a prime example of a leader who does not lead by example, one who expects his followers to know and do things that he doesn’t hold himself accountable for. Trump made the National Anthem a divisive issue. Trump is the one who has draped himself in the flag.
Is it the height of irony or hypocrisy that he does not know the lyrics?
Perhaps he was distracted by the boos that mingled heavily with some cheers when he entered the field. Some of those fans had been left standing in the rain for an hour when the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was closed waiting for Trump to arrive for the game. This is not a crowd that showed up to see Donald Trump. They came to see a great college football game.
But let’s not leave this on a sour note. Perhaps the most memorable rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was delivered by the incomparable Whitney Houston at the 1991 Super Bowl. Here, my friends, is how this song deserves to be sung: