Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game (after spending $250,000 of taxpayer money to get there) when several players took a knee during the national anthem. His press office followed up with a statement that Pence "left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."
Meanwhile, the press pool following him had previously been told to wait in the press van because "there may be an early departure." And President Trump later tweeted that he "asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled," both of which rather undermine any claim Pence had to be following his own conscience.
Let us return to the Book of Clemens, Chapter 23, verses 3-5:
Patriotism is merely a religion -- love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country's flag and honor and welfare.
In absolute monarchies it is furnished from the Throne, cut and dried, to the subject; in England and America it is furnished, cut and dried, to the citizen by the politician and the newspaper.
The newspaper-and-politician-manufactured Patriot often gags in private over his dose; but he takes it, and keeps it on his stomach the best he can. Blessed are the meek.
As Josh Marshall has pointed out repeatedly, "In Trumpland, everyone gets hurt. No one emerges with any dignity intact. He’s that ravening maw of ego and appetite and above all else unquenchable need and he has the country by the throat."