Fap check: “Soldiers fought and died for Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest”

Credit ESPN's First Take.
MP   |   Published originally September 13, 2016

The soldiers who put their lives on the line, and sacrifice themselves…that’s what they fought for, for your right to do what Colin Kaepernick did.

American Revolution

There is no evidence to suggest that a single soldier in the American Revolution fought to defend “minority rights” or “freedom of expression”.

In fact, “patriots”— the 20-40% that agitated for rebellion against the Crown– terrorized those who spoke favorably of the British. Eventually, some 80,000 “loyalists” were forced to flee overseas.

Volunteers in the Continental Army were primarily motivated by $$$:

Compensated by a signing bonus and the promise of free land after the war. This policy aimed to fill the ranks of the Continental Army, but was never fully successful. While the Congress authorized an army of 75,000, at its peak Washington’s main force never had more than 18,000 men. The terms of service were such that only men with relatively few other options chose to join the Continental Army.

When they weren’t paid as promised, they plotted insurrection:

In March of 1783, a growing number of American military officers, discouraged by lack of regular pay and ongoing financial support, began to openly discuss options that included a wanton disbandment of the army or possibly even a military show of force pointed directly at Congress.

Civil War

There is no evidence to suggest that a single soldier in the Civil War fought to defend “minority rights” or “freedom of expression”.

Initially, many enlisted for the lulz:

Both the Union and the Confederacy were so confident that victory could be achieved in a few months that young men volunteered by the thousands to make sure that they did not miss out on the war.

Due to the lack of men volunteering to die for “minority rights” or “freedom of expression”– Congress was forced to pass the Civil War Conscription Act:

The Draft Act of 1863 was the first instance of compulsory service in the federal military services…draft riots broke out in New York City and lasted four days.

World War 1 & 2

There is no evidence to suggest that a single soldier in World War I or II fought to defend “minority rights” or “freedom of expression”.

Volunteers were primarily motivated by adventure and/or animus towards Germany or Japan…


There is no evidence to suggest that a single soldier in Vietnam fought to defend “minority rights” or “freedom of expression”.

The ~60-70% that volunteered were motivated by adventure and/or career opportunities…

The present

There is no evidence to suggest that a single soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan is fighting to defend “minority rights” or “freedom of expression”…

Obviously, if defending “minority rights” or “freedom of expression” were an actual thing– struggling military recruiters wouldn’t focus so heavily on non-“defending minority rights/freedom of expression” subjects, such as…

Army Times: Secret tactics of successful Army recruiters…

Recruiters sometimes bring coffee and doughnuts…One of Morrison’s more kitchen-savvy recruiters…offered to teach his “world-famous” lasagna recipe to a cooking class. Students asked if he learned how to cook like that in the Army; the infantryman had taken classes thanks to Army-funded tuition assistance while stationed in Hawaii.

One time, Morrison pulled a student aside and learned that he wanted to get into graphic design.

“Did [you] know we have multi-media illustrators in the Army?” Morrison asked him, and that got him on board.


The notion that soldiers are primarily motivated by the need to defend “minority rights” or “freedom expression” is a post-60’s fairy tale used to justify liberal provocations deleterious to social cohesion (no judgment, I appreciate good propaganda).

MFP rates this myth as…

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