The disrespectful protests during the national anthem at NFL games have ignited a firestorm of commentary on both the left and the right, with even President Donald Trump fanning the flames in his famous straightforward style.
Now, Secretary of Defense James Mattis has been asked to weigh in on the controversy… but his response might surprise you.
On Monday, a reporter pressed “Mad Dog” Mattis for his response to the protests, especially in light of his military service.
“Do you have anything to say about the NFL being someone who has served in the military?” asked an unnamed journalist, according to the Department of Defense transcript.
Mattis didn’t waste any breath, and made his stance clear with just nine words.
“I’m the secretary of defense,” he stated bluntly. “We defend the country.”
The message was clear: Issues like a nuclear-armed North Korea and defeating the group known as the Islamic State were far more important to the former general than the antics of millionaire players on a football field.
At first glance, it would be simple to say that Trump perhaps should have taken the same approach and focused on military and policy issues instead of speaking out about the NFL protests. In fact, many people on the left have chastised the president for not doing exactly that.
However, it’s important to remember that the role of the president is very different from that of the secretary of defense.
The entire reason we have specialists like Mattis in key positions is so that the president can perform multiple important roles at once — and one of these is to speak for the American people on issues where they are being ignored.
Elitist players and a league that receives funding through the taxpayers have been ignoring the American people for far too long, and Trump’s voice, while blunt, said what many citizens have been thinking for years.
A president who speaks out on issues and a secretary of defense who is focused on the military are not two mutually exclusive things. Both Mattis and Trump have different styles and assets — and to the frustration of America’s enemies, both go to work every day with the goal of making the country the best it can possibly be.
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H/T The Daily Caller