The annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, held this week in New York City, is the largest media platform for show dogs, drawing a substantial national audience and inspiring viral hashtags on Twitter.
This year, the “Best in Show” award went to Rumor, a female German Shepherd, who beat out 2,800 other dogs from across the country to take the top honors. Rumor had been a fierce competitor over past years and finally rose to the top in 2017. Good for her.
Many dog watchers assumed 2016 would be Rumor’s last year in competition, but she proved the haters wrong by coming back to win like a true champion. She deserves all the credit in the world.
That doesn’t mean we should celebrate Rumor’s victory. On the contrary, informed citizens must collectively cry “bad dog!” As a Westminster champion, perhaps the most popular dog in American, Rumor has a duty to use her platform to speak out against social injustice, and the tyrannical policies of President Donald Trump.
Yet Rumor has failed to honor this responsibility. Two days after being crowned, having made numerous appearances on network morning shows, Rumor has remained silent on Trump, his controversial refugee travel ban, and the scandal surrounding the former head of the National Security Council, General Mike Flynn, who resigned in disgrace this week amid concerns over his ties to Russian officials.
As news broke of General Flynn’s resignation, Rumor was dining at a famous steakhouse in Times Square. She munched on bite after bite of expensive sirloin, forgoing the opportunity speak out and take a political stand that matters. Members of the media didn’t even bother to ask her opinion, further eroding the credibility of the “free” press.
Champions carry a great burden. With great success come a great patriotic duty to have a good political opinion. Like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Rumor the dog has shamefully abdicated this responsibility.
According to her owner, Rumor is named after Adele’s hit song, “Rumor Has It,” which only heightens the contrast between Rumor’s negligent passivity and Adele’s own impassioned appeal for “inclusivity” during the Grammy awards. Rumor is running out of excuses.
One would think that Rumor’s pedigree should give her even more of a reason to speak out. She is, after all, a German Shepard, basically a canine Nazi. That she chooses to remain silent in the face of alt-right hate speech, anti-Semitic attacks, and spray painted swastikas on our nation’s sidewalks, is unconscionable. Rumor’s publicist should have resigned in disgrace by now.
Cynics might say, “but she’s just a dog,” but the cynics would be wrong. That’s no excuse, and the American public should not let Rumor off the hook so easily. She must condemn the hateful messages coming out of the White House. To do otherwise amounts to a validation of white supremacist ideology, and a tacit endorsement of Adolf Hitler’s worldview.
At the very least, Rumor should decline to attend the White House ceremony to honor her victory, just as a number of New England Patriots players have decided to skip the Super Bowl celebration to protest Trump’s policies. As long as our nation’s celebrities, human or otherwise, refuse to speak out in favor of social justice, the United States will continue its slide toward third-world tyranny.
[ H/T @JeffMacke on Twitter ]
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