Says Scott Adams... who managed, without actually saying it, to create the idea in my mind — I know he's a hypnotist — that "The Star-Spangled Banner" will soon be widely regarded as racist and no longer acceptable as the national anthem. And that's before I read the CNN article he linked to: "Slavery and the national anthem: The surprising history behind Colin Kaepernick's protest."
And even though I personally reject the argument that Kaepernick needs to love America because it's better than the alternatives — it goes against my aphorism "Better than nothing is a high standard"* — I think Kaepernick's forefronting of the general abstraction of patriotism helps Trump.
I can imagine a psychological study that divides undecided American voters into 3 groups. Group 1 watches some well-crafted propaganda designed to inspire love for America. Group 2 watches a serious exploration of the pros and cons of whether Americans should love America. And Group 3 watches something — no more or less entertaining — that has nothing to do with patriotism. I'm guessing Group 2 would lean more toward Trump than Group 3.
* Yes, you have to live somewhere, but you don't have to love it. Back in the 60s, those who didn't like the various anti-war and other protests had a slogan "America — love it or leave it." It was kind of like the old parental demand — on presentation of some unappetizing food — "You'll eat it and you'll like it." Why must I also like it? And how can I be ordered to like it? More sensible parents — like mine — would just say: "That's what's for dinner." They didn't prod me to go see if I could go get dinner at someone else's house and taunt me with predictions that I wouldn't even like it. This is dinner. This is what we're having. You need to eat. But you can have your own thoughts about it and dislike it even as you use it to fulfill your needs.
IN THE COMMENTS: Balfegor said something I meant to make you think:
I wouldn't be surprised if Group 2 actually leaned more towards Trump than Group 1 too . . . sort of like what we saw with Obama, Obama benefited when race was made salient in voters' minds (e.g. by the media and his other proxies), but less so when voters were beaten about the head about racism (cf. his late fade against Clinton II back in the 2008 primary). However well-crafted, propaganda that articulates a clear point of view can provoke a counter-reaction. That said, I suppose that means it just wasn't well-crafted enough.