The neocons were a dangerous group, and their realignment of world power was exposed in the brutal deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bolton's dismissal of the United Nations decried an inflexibility incompatible with the real world (despite very real criticisms of effectiveness). His tenure as National Security Adviser will be the whisperings of Iago into Trump's ear. Fear. Revenge. Attack.
What debt do we owe to other nations? Not in specific objective numbers that bounce around balance sheets, transferring wealth from elite to elite, but those amorphous calculations that never quite coalesce. Informal and black markets. Legacies of interference. Vagaries of chance.
Uncomfortable ghosts haunt our dreams, wearing us down. We haze their faces across memory, bright again every time we add to their ranks.
Kaepernick asked us to question our revisions. Asked us to start a larger conversation on race and equality and what freedom truly means. If the oppressor is himself oppressed, how have I not bought into a system in which I know red and blue lights in the rearview mean at most an annoying ticket, and not a death sentence? How can I ensure that to be American means taking a hard look at how we have used our symbols to uphold systems of inequality, oppression, racism, cruelty? How can I help reinvent this system so the self-evident truths of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are enjoyed by all? It starts by taking a knee.