If Nick Sandmann, the student from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky who was part of the key face-to-face “confrontation” in front the of the Lincoln Memorial, had not been wearing a red MAGA hat, the original video would get a few thousand social media views. If Sandmann was not wearing the hat, and also was not a white male, it’s unlikely anyone would even bother to post the episode online.

If Nathan Phillips, the adult male who stepped into Sandmann’s space while beating his drum, was not a Native American who reminded liberals of the majestic Indian who shed a tear in those famous anti-pollution commercials from the 1970s, the video would never go viral and news outlets would never feel compelled to cover this non-event. If the Covington Catholic kids were not pro-life and from Kentucky, there would be no gasoline poured on the original brushfire of what looked like something no more dramatic than the prelude to a Florida/Florida State football game (I vividly remember covering an execution at San Quentin over a decade ago and being accosted by professional liberal protestors while doing my talk show in a way that was far more outrageous than anything the Covington kids did. The mainstream news media there responded by literally laughing at me).

In a rational world, none of these factors would have been particularly relevant to determining what really happened during those heated couple of minutes, but of course we no longer live in such a place.