Follow Up: Why The Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Removed From Schools

In my last article “Why The Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Removed From Schools”, I got a lot of feedback saying what a crock it was, and that somehow it was a statement against America herself. Many seemed to get the idea that the article was about how I am so disappointed in America that I believed that the Pledge of Allegiance to it should be removed. Though I believe the pledge of allegiance should be removed, it is not because I hate America as so many seemed to believe.
The first and most common argument was that the Pledge of Allegiance to our country was a good thing because it taught kids and adults alike to take pride in our nation. I will address this one first as the revolution was not fought to create a new nation or empire, but rather to free themselves from the one they already had.
1 – The creation of America was not the dream of the common man at the time, or by many of the so called founders. On the contrary, most people just wanted to live their lives without the interference or burden of government regulation or taxes with no perceived benefit. They knew that should a nation be created, that what little taxes and regulation they did have would grow in kind. They even feared that should it happen, there would not have been a point to the revolution (see Radicalism of the American Revolution by Tom S Wood, and Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauf).
2 – At the end of the revolution (and with the newly found freedom), the middle class began to flourish, the abolitionist movement grew rapidly, the States made great strides in paying off war debt, and advocating women’s rights. Of course the States in those days were nothing as we have today. There were very few governing bodies, and thus few laws to govern the people. This suited them just fine.
3 – Yet the federalists in congress realized that if things continued in that manner, then their wishes for a glorious empire would not be realized. So after years of haggling and hot debating, the Constitution was drafted. To those like Jefferson, it was to limit the government so that the people could continue to flourish. To those like Hamilton, it was a means to build a new nation. The end result was a small federal government that the people at the time paid little mind to as it had no real power to affect them in any real way.
4 – Hamiltons efforts at granting the new federal government more power were virtually ineffective until he was made Secretary of treasury. Being a sharp minded individual, he used his knowledge of debt based economics to appeal to the states to buy their debt, and thus alleviate the burden from the states. Many of the people saw no need for this and petitioned their elected leaders to just let it be. However once in the audience of Hamilton, they were unable to make solid arguments against his proposed system. So Hamilton simultaneously increased the debt (by a wide margin), used the funds to build an army that he could control, and used the army to support the federalist system.
5 – Adams then signed the Alien and Sedition Acts rendering Jefferson (or anyone else for that matter) unable to speak out without being thrown into prison. This however did not prevent Jefferson from making his thoughts on the subject known at a later date. At this point, the federal government now had the control that Hamilton wanted.
So far I am seeing nothing here at all to be proud of. In addition to breaking the Constitution almost before the ink was even dry, Hamilton paved the way for holding the people to the law, but not the government. Because Hamilton’s system endures today, people seem to see it as something to be proud of despite its lies and law breaking ways. After all, they live well, so the ends justified the means.
To many on the comment string, this was a good thing. They believe that without the Federal Government, and strong state governments, that society would be in chaos, and that we would still be in the stone age. I find this hard to address as such commenter’s belay their ignorance of the cycles of nations, empires, and civility as a whole. It also tells me that not one of them ever bothered to read any real literature on what happened immediately following the war, to the creation of the powerful federal government we know today. So far all its led to is a bunch of people being proud of lying cheating politicians who they refuse to even do their research on before declaring their pride in it, but I digress.
1 – To build an empire you need to expand. During the age where land ownership was highly prized and hotly debated, this was problematic at best. The French owned much of the middle land and the land to the north, the Spanish held what is now Texas and California. They held it somewhat loosely having figured out that the best way to deal with the native Indians was to do so peacefully and as rarely as possible. Seeing an opportunity, the Louisiana Purchase (and a few other land deals) were made, and the land was acquired so that the rapidly growing population would have a place to settle. It needs to be kept in mind that there was a major difference between what the colonists thought of the new land, and what the natives and other countries did. To the colonist, it was as simple as buying the land and making it produce. Not so for the natives.
2 – When the French sold the land to Federal government (paid with debt and taxes from the people, who by the way were made to pay for it yet again if they hoped to by it), they washed their hands of the mess and moved out for the most part. The natives on the other hand had lived there their whole lives, and did not expect the land prospectors to just move in and try to settle it. To be blunt, it was a mess. Between the friction and the less then favorable land conditions, it turned out to be a major cost burden to the Fed as not to many buyers wanted it at the price offered (sound familiar?). The federal government that people praise so much, then pulled another trick.
3 – They claimed that the natives were uncivilized, and that is why there was so much friction. They claimed that they were not ready to become civilized, and that instead of learning peaceful methods of interaction, that force should be used to remove them – after all, they were not viewed as the rightful owners of the land. This added even more cost because soldiers had to be called in to accomplish this task.
So up to this point, the federal government had not only lied and cheated, but swindled the people. It sold them land whenever possible that it used their money to buy in the first place, and then left them to deal with the upset natives. Then when the beleaguered settlers called for help, the federal system added taxes and debt to cover that cost as well. And still somehow, many people who claim to be knowledgeable ,comment on how great the federal government is; that without it, chaos would reign.
Now I can do this all night, but will end with one last example of how our countries founding is nothing to be proud of. Its actions set the standard for the expansion of its empirical interests rendering the republic irrelevant.
In his memoirs, Grant said “Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.” This was in response to the invasion of Mexico and California.
Now even in those times it was recognized that the republic no longer saw fit to limit itself as originally advertised. From the eve of the Mexican American War to today, we have maintained not a republic, but an Empire.
I find it morally reprehensible for people today to be so proud of all of this. It makes sense though, and this is my final point as to why.
I mentioned indoctrination for good reason. I read comment after comment of people claiming to know our history and taking pride in it. A few even went so far as to say that if I did not like America, then I should get out. Back in the 1780’s, Jefferson warned this would happened, and here we are today, following the same BS cycle, with people mindlessly supporting it because its ‘the patriotic thing to do’.
Patriotism: devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty. Love is not blind to a wrong committed. If a husband turns into an abusive drunk or obsessive cheater, and no amount of counseling or a drug rehab program helps, is a wife wrong for leaving him? Of course not. So why should we love a system that was not true to the people? Same goes with defense. You cannot defend someone if they pick a fight they cannot win. Yet over and over we have extended out wars to a point where it is not only bankrupting us, but making us a target in the process. National loyalty? Since our nation was first started it has consistently expanded itself and its interests at a cost to high to pay, and we are supposed to be loyal to that??? Especially when it was done without our say so? I guess it’s true what they say – that ‘patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’ (Samuel Johnson, whom by the way, I hold no affinity toward minus this quote).
So here we are today, over extended and living on a lie. We were our own nation once, and even after the past mistakes, could have stopped the expansion and regained our sense of self. Then we decided to involve ourselves in WWI which would not have affected us in any real way had we kept our noses out of it (remember that France and Germany were at odds for sometime before that war even started). Yet we not only escalated that war but ensured that WWII would start as a result. The cold war derived from the leftovers of WWII, and our modern conflicts after the cold war. It is the harbinger of doom to an empire when this point is reached, and yet still, so called ‘patriots’ laud and cheer the flag that claims to spread ‘freedom and democracy’ as ‘leaders of the world’. Grow up people. It is because we are taught when we are young that patriotism is supporting the system no matter what it has done or continues to do that so many today cling to this rubbish.
The only thing left is for people to say ‘well, this is still the freest country on earth – you ungrateful…’. Why yes, yes it is. Yet I equate this with telling a person that even though you’re stealing a grand from them that at least you let them keep a dollar. Yet it is that same platitude that allows a system to abuse its power more and more, taking more freedom and liberty away with each passing generation, for that is exactly how it has worked. For those of you out there who show such an attitude, I am greatly upset at your lack of foresight and morals. Then you tout how patriotic you are and how proud you are of it.
In closing, the people did not make America, politicians did; and just as I’ve said before, they will break it in the same manner. So take off those blinders and wake up, for there is far more to life than this dismal mediocrity with an oncoming freight train at the end of the tunnel.

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2 Responses to Follow Up: Why The Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Removed From Schools

  1. Michael Shanklin July 7, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Great article David!!!

    • David S July 8, 2011 at 1:24 am #

      Thanks…You know whats funny? Half the people who read the first one and commented poorly have not read this one …. shows you how full of it most people are who prefer blind rhetoric over reason and fact…

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