At 4pm on June 4th, 2018 — a Monday — the White House issued a statement from the President, and it said:
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem. Hand on heart in honor of the great men and women of our military and people of our country.”
To say nothing of the fact that the White House just issued a statement by the President in which he references himself in the third person, the statement actually sets off a new precedent for any Oval Office holder but frankly for the United States Constitution. The very notion of American identity has been rooted in dissent and free expression, in disagreeing with one’s neighbor, by having the right the ability and frankly the marketplace of ideas to have that conversation to debate it to engage in disagreement and to yell at one another — but knowing that the extent of one’s words stopped at the water’s edge of the end of that sentiment. It didn’t get quelled, didn’t get squashed, and get silenced and get banned. It didn’t get disinvited.
The Philadelphia Eagles. It seems ironic — Philadelphia as the birthplace of democracy. The eagle as a national symbol.
For a president to start allocating his measurement of who is or is not American enough — it’s not only dangerous, but it underscores the reason why this podcast is so important.
There’s a lot going on in America (and the world) and Vikrum Aiyer — Former White House Senior Economic Policy Advisor (Obama Administration) and Former Chief of Staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office — has something to say about it all and about what it takes these days to be American enough.