07.07.2014 0

Elitist activism: The Washington Redskins and the arrogance of Capitol Hill

redskinsBy Tom Toth

Who decides, after all debate settles, what exactly is appropriate and acceptable in a society?

Generally speaking, societal norms, preferences, and jargon evolve over a period of time, until the rules of those norms become second nature to virtually everyone taking participating in a given society.

In recent weeks, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) arbitrarily revoked the trademark of the professional football franchise “Washington Redskins” finding the name is “disparaging” to native Americans.

An interesting and jarring decision against a company valued over $1.7 billion, according to Forbes, especially considering that not a single person filed a complaint or negative comment about the name to the USPTO before the government agency’s ruling, according to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Washington Times.

That’s right. Not a single one from the invisible masses of Americans insulted to their core over the Washington D.C. football franchise’s nickname took it upon himself to contact the USPTO about the plight of his disparagement over the newly scandalous “Redskins” title.

In fact, evidence about the public’s perception of the team’s name seems disproportionately weighted to the other end of the spectrum—the latest Associated Press poll on the subject found only 11 percent of Americans find the name offensive.

However, political elites have disproportionately made the Redskins name an issue. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has sent several letters to Redskins owner Dan Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, including one signed by 50 Democrat Senators (note: the letter was not circulated to Republican Senators) — because when half of the United States Senate signs a letter to you, you listen. Never mind that the vast majority of people simply do not take exception to the name, it matters not how many millions of dollars it could potentially cost a private company, the party leaders have taken a stand with the implication that all those who oppose them are guilty of racism — a claim that no American should take lightly, given the gross history racism has had and continues to have around the world.

What’s concerning is just how out of touch the American left is by spending time and resources on this issue during times of scandal and crisis. The likes of Harry Reid and Barack Obama focused on changing the Redskins name while the economy shrank by 2.9% over 2014’s first quarter, while the IRS continues to be investigated for targeting the political opponents of the Administration, while Islamic extremists retake parts of Iraq that thousands of Americans sacrificed life and limb to hold, while tens of thousands of immigrant children flood across the border into American refugee camps, and while one in six males aged 25-54 are not working.

But what do you know? Sure, over 80 percent of people see no problem with the Redskins name, and certainly nothing that intervention from the federal government, but the left persists on because, after all, the masses who disagree with then are all just racists and don’t even know it yet.

Real leadership sees big problems and works to find solutions. Small minds like Harry Reid’s, look at the 80-year old team name of football team and create problems out of thin air so they can pretend to be providing solutions.

Tom Toth is the Digital Content Director for Americans for Limited Government.

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