Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Pledge of Allegiance

Thanks to Dawn over to Weldable Cookies for the inspiration for this one.

I know we cannot expect our leaders to know everything about everything. But when they wrap themselves up in the flag and spout off about how sacred our symbols are I expect at least some knowledge of those words and symbols to accompany the adulation. The mindless patriotism many in this country throw in my face gets to me. Many if not most do not have a clue about the historical precedence or background that created the patriotism in the first place.

Dawn found such an example in Sarah Palin. This God fearing, gun toting, flag waving Governor of Alaska did not know her history when asked about what are obviously some words she holds dear to her family values heart. She insists that if the Pledge of Allegiance was good enough for our founding fathers, it is good enough for her. The Pledge did not even come into existence until the late 1800s. The Founding Fathers were long term residents in coffin row by that time.

It is her type of mindset that would have us passing legislation to protect and enforce public respect of the symbols of our country. A country created and based on freedom of expression is now being assaulted by people who pretend to love the freedoms they have. Yet they would limit the freedoms the rest of us have in their single minded and narrow definition of what freedom is. That somehow the meaning of the flag and the words are made stronger by punishing those who refuse to recognize them. I am sorry, but protecting them with legislative manipulations would have the opposite effect. Patriotism is not something you can force down people's throats. Oh you can make them say it, fly it, and appear in public waving it. But you cannot make them believe it. Unless belief in the symbol accompanies the public display, then the symbol is worthless to any but those wielding the power. And when that happens, there is no freedom just subservience.

14 comments:

Dawn on MDI said...

"Unless belief in the symbol accompanies the public display, then the symbol is worthless to any but those wielding the power."

Bravo! Very well said! And thanks for the hat tip. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

It gets better. The Pledge was originally written by a Socialist (Bellamy) and did not include any reference to the United States of America or One Nation Under God. The USA was added later because some thought it would make it clearer to immigrants which flag they were pledging allegiance to. The One Nation Under God was not added until the mid 1950's. So much for the Founding Fathers angle.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Is Sarah Palin actually on record as supporting legislation that would enforce public respect for American patriotic symbols? If she is, then I accept your point as written; if she isn't, then your joining "her type of mindset" to the "forced patriotism" movement is perhaps a little unfair.

MRMacrum said...

el cerdo ignatius - As it pertains to her lack of historical reference to the origns of The Pledge, I think I am on target to say she is starting off with a negative. Her support for Pat Buchanan in 2000 would also lead me to believe she would be for it. A flag amendemnt is #17 on Pat's 18 issue agenda on his home page stating his positions when he ran for President.

When it comes to administering the basic rule book, The Constitution, it seems the poorest performance often comes from pols who do not understand the historical contexts and origins of the rules they are supposed to uphold. More often than not lousy legislation or uneeded legislation is the result.

But you are right, I may be putting the cart in front of the horse here. I will have to look for her position that specifically mentions the flag amendment. So far I have found nothing. Quite a resume this lady has. They really dug deep to find her.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

From what I can tell from the link, Sarah Palin's "founding fathers" blunder occurred just over two years ago, in July 2006, when she was running for Governor of Alaska. You stated that she "is starting off with a negative", which is true if this is the first bit of news one gets about her.

I might instead say that if anyone looks around hard enough, they're apt to find something negative about anyone who has run for office. Everyone has misspoke, or spoken too quickly without researching something, or written something that sounds witty or solid (like Mrs. Palin's founding fathers response on the questionnaire), or gotten their facts wrong, at one time or other. I've run for public office three times myself; if someone looked hard enough through the archive of quotes in the newspaper, or listened to the tapes of the radio debates, or watched the brief television debate from my quixotic run for Parliament in 2000, I have no doubt that there's something in there with which my political opponents (or even just the average voter) could make some hay. Such is life in politics.

PresterJohn said...

Very chivalrous of eci to offer his apologia of Palin's ignorance.

But then, one can put lip gloss on a sow but it's still a sow.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Each to his or her own, PresterJohn. I think my point is well-made but everyone is entitled to disagree, even through the use of porcine imagery, to which I am preternaturally favourably disposed. So thanks for that, anyway.

I certainly agree with Mr. Macrum's main point, repeated by Dawn in the comments, that unless belief in the symbol is made freely, then the symbol has no worth.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

I do not have MRMacrums literary flare for word usage. It is clear however that he feels more respect for those that spit on the flag, or burn it, (this exhibiting his right to do so), than he has for those that make public displays of their loyalty to the country. So he nitpiks over a mis-spoken response, and paints a negative image based on no facts at all, just in his mind he thinks she is----well its American, he's allowed to do so-----My own personl opinion is, if you have to make negative remarks to make a point, you don't have much of a point.

PresterJohn said...

Regrettably no shots are yet medically available to ameliorate organic stupidity in politicians like Palin.

Ya can't fix stupid.

Demeur said...

Let me throw this little curve ball into the mix. Palin is a member of the Alaska Independence Party. That's a party that doesn't even want to be part of the U.S.
Spit on the flag? I don't think she cares about the flag just money and power like all republicans. And they sure don't give a squat about you. "You're on your own".

MRMacrum said...

I have never deleted someone's comment from one of my posts. Other than the spam I used to get occaisionally. I try my best to be respectful of other opinions on my blog when I do respond to a comment. Even though it is my blog..... uh, you know what? I think this warrants a post. I'm now officially pissed off. I'm going to take a breath first and see if I want to make an issue of it.

So Gary, even though you have stated your position that you do not follow up on the comments you make on other blogs (water over the dam as you put it), and your hit and run flaming comment aside, I will respond this last time with the little respect I have left for you.

Palin hardly misspoke. She was sent a questionaire and her answers were written and sent back. She took the time to write down her answer. Her response is hardly that of a pol being caught off guard. Besides, the blog that sent her and all of the other candidates the position questionaire was one that favored her political bent. So she was not even dealing with an adverserial situation.

Your assumption that I respect those who would spit on the flag more than those who would wave it is classic Freeper 101. I have tried to engage you on our obviously differing takes on issues in a reasonable and civil way. I will not rise to the bait you dangle in front of me. Your half assed knowledge of the political process and the issues is exactly the mindset my Pledge post is about. You would rather swallow the kool aid provided you by the side you favor than do any of the dirty work to gain knowledge on your own.

To put my position clearly out there regarding spitters and wavers - I respect the document we live by more than any one person who would spit on it or wave it. In my opinion, both extremes are there by the grace of that document. I will defend the right of either to spit on it or wave it. But I will reserve my right to call either on the carpet when I think they are being idiots. Consider yourself called on the carpet.

Demeur said...

Bravo Macrum! I've had more than one go round with Gary on several issues. He just doesn't get it or won't do his homework I don't know which.

Freedom means just that- freedom

Maybe we should give Gary a list of words to look up starting with - hypocrite.

MRMacrum said...

Demeur - I wrote a responding comment. Punched the preview button. Previewed it. Passed on it. And then I bailed without posting it. Brain skip I guess.

Your point regarding Palin's membership in the Alaskan Independence Party is not a done deal. From what I can find, there is no record of her being a member. Ever. Her husband has been a member. And she did attend their 2000 convention and threw her support behind Pat Buchanan. She may be a sympathizer, but she carries no card.

Regardless, her loose cannon ways should make dyed in the wool Republicans nervous. But in their desperation to mount any response to Barack, they seem to ignore some of the background issues she has. By only looking and reading the talking points their leadership offers up, they may end up with more than they want to bargain with. McCain's age and previous health problems should have made them more cautious in embracing her. Do they really want someone who has proven to not be a team player one heartbeat away from the presidency?

The Republican leadership's and Democratic Leadership's tendency to push winning at any cost over fielding quality candidates opens the door for serious mistakes the rest of us pay for.

BBC said...

It's just a bunch of political monkeys serving their own self interests.

What we need is a good rebellion, as I will state on my blog in the morning being as I've already written my post.

I write most of my posts the day before.