Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Pledge

Xavier Becerra is a Democratic congressman in California...who got into some trouble. At a meeting recently...as they were opening the meeting there in California....someone in the audience jumped up and wanted everyone there to receite the Pledge of Allegiance.

There was a bit of laughing over this...but eventually everyone...include Represenative Becerra recited the pledge. The problem is that this all got video-taped. Then it got put on YouTube.

Some folks are getting all upset over this congressman and his amusement of the pledge request.

I sat and pondered over this.

Did George Washington ever recite the Pledge of Allegiance? No.

Did Thomas Jefferson ever recite the Pledge of Allegiance? No.

Did Abraham Lincoln ever recite the Pledge of Allegiance? No.

This is the curious thing about this pledge business. It didn't come about until 1892. It was invented as a method for folks to show their patriotism in a public setting. You wave the flag...you push the pledge...everyone feels some American spirit...and then you go home feeling gleefully happy.

It's a simple four-line pledge which gets tossed into any school setting or public forum. It was a simple thing in the 1960s to just get everyone to recite it and then get onto regular work. Today? Folks question the pledge.

If you asked folks if it existed in the 1850s...the vast majority will say 'yes'. Few know it's history.

A lot of people walk around as Republicans and use this tactic in public forums...like this one in California...to get at people who question the pledge. In the mind of these Republicans...making anything about the pledge a joke....is serious business and good to use against Democrats.

In the end...the pledge ends up being a "tool" rather than anything else. I realize I might not be making some folks happy....but we actually got by very well for 120 years...without the pledge. Makes you wonder if we really need it in the first place?

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