Trump embraces the 'culture war'
To attend the Indianapolis Colts game where the number of the legendary Peyton Manning was to be retired, Vice President Mike Pence, a former governor of Indiana, flew back from Las Vegas.
With him in the stadium was wife Karen. In honor of Manning, she wore a No. 18 jersey as "The Star Spangled Banner" began.
The Pences stood, hands over hearts. A dozen San Francisco 49ers took a knee. When the national anthem ended, Pence walked out. His limousine took him back to the airport to fly to LA.
"A stunt! That plane trip cost taxpayers $250,000," wailed a media that was rarely critical of Michelle Obama's million-dollar junkets with Sasha and Malia.
The president took credit for Pence's walkout, tweeting, "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled."
Pence's statement: "I 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."
As Pence had left his press pool in the motorcade, and said he might not be too long, the walkout may not have been entirely spontaneous. But the game had been on Pence's calendar for weeks.
What does this episode tell us?
In the culture wars, Trump has rejected compromise or capitulation and decided to defend the ground on which his most loyal folks stand.
Example: While The Washington Post was reporting Monday that Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and Denver had now joined Los Angeles in replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day, Trump issued a Columbus Day proclamation of bristling defiance.