Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Pledge Allegiance...

Nearly 40 years ago, I made a pledge. I have kept that pledge even when it wasn't so convenient. Though I was a young adult, I fully understood the seriousness of that pledge. My mother had taught me how strong a pledge (or promise or vow, whichever term you choose) was. I was taught that pledges are to be kept - regardless. In fact, if she ever uttered the words "I promise you", you knew without a doubt it was going to happen. I only heard those words from her a couple times in all my life. And she kept each one of them.

You see, pledges carry an extreme commitment. They are never to be broken or compromised because it involves the essence of who you really are. It's your word and bond. There is nothing that you have that is more powerful than your word. And your word is also something that cannot be taken from you by anyone. So, if you make a pledge without considering the seriousness of it, and without a commitment to keep that pledge, you take the only powerful thing that you have and make it cheap, if not worthless. What that means is you cannot pledge something with the thought that if it doesn't work out, you can just walk away. If that's your attitude, it it's not a pledge; it's a wish.

So, the "chatter" today is about the Obama school video by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, which I have viewed. Generally speaking, it is pretty innocuous covering things like "pledging" to not waste resources, to volunteer, to become a mentor, to help those who need help, and so on. And which of us on either side of the philosophical divide would disagree with any of that? However, there is one "different" individual who pledged to be of service to Barack Obama - not to the country, but to an individual. That's where the video really goes over the top as far as its placement in the classrooms full of impressionable young students.

Let's discuss the use of the word "pledge" as it relates to Obama.

Barack Obama is supposed to be a servant/leader (chosen by popular ballot) of the people. It is the people who make the country. No individual is the country. No elected individual should be regarded higher than another individual in the country. Now, let me hasten to say that the office of presidency does bring with it some esteem because it means that the person in that office has been selected to lead the rest of us. It means that the individual in that position has the power to speak on behalf of the rest of us. And that's it. It doesn't mean that the person holding that office should be a demagogue and demand supreme allegiance.

However, that is exactly what this presidency has become in these short few months - a demagoguery. It has become an administration that used Constitutional freedoms and populus discontent to gain victory over their political opponents. And once in power, this administration has begun doing everything it can to squelch all efforts to express any opposing viewpoint being made through the same vehicles that they used to gain power. Fortunately, what worked for them is now working for their opponents.

As I've said before, I don't think there are very many people in Obama's administration that understand how determined the "sleeping giant" that has been awakened recently can be. The giant may have gray hair, may have a few wrinkles, but it has a fire in its belly that won't be put out, and it will be a force to be reckoned with. In fact, it really has nothing left to lose if it loses this war. And that's what makes it want to fight all the more fiercely.

And it's not only that older age group which make up this giant. There are pockets of young people who realize that their future under this administration's direction will not be as bright as what their parents looked forward to when they were young, that they will have to work harder, longer, for less (with a portion of what they earned given to others who don't work at all, but who liberals say are due it), and these young people will never reach the level of prosperity (whatever level you deem prosperous) that their parents attained. They may never be able to reach their own goals and dreams.  In fact, today may be as good as it ever gets for them.

There are also people who either voted Democratic for the first time in the last election or have been lifelong Democratic voters that are seeing this particular administration is not what they thought they were getting, that it is far more radical than they believed. They are begining to have their eyes opened to the fact that their best days may be behind them if we continue to allow the uber-liberals to dictate our destiny over these next few years, and I think that's beginning to frighten some of them, too.

So, with that said, if the future does not look hopeful, if the programs this administration hopes to push through appear too radical, if all the excessive spending is disconcerting, if this administration is determined to alter all facets of the American way of life as it has been since its founding, why should we pledge ourselves to a particular individual who is leading us in this direction? Why should we make a pledge to a person who is determined to destroy America as it has been known?

Back to what I said previously about the pledge, when I made a pledge to someone or to something, I exchanged my word, my bond, for that pledge. I embraced it fully and unquestioningly. That pledge to that individual or ideal became as strong as the power of my word. When I make a pledge, I am saying that everything I am or have, everything I hope to be or have is tied to that individual or ideal. It becomes an integral part of who I am.

So, do we really want to make this "Obama pledge"? Do we want our school children who are too young to understand the power of a pledge to be making pledges to a movement and/or individual? Do we want them to learn that a pledge is just a "fad" thing that comes and goes with the emotion of the moment, or the politics of the day? In fact, since this video is touted as a public service announcement, I don't think this particular video belongs in the schools at all.

So, how far are we going to let the liberal propaganda infiltrate into our lives? When are we going to establish the limit? When are we going to return to doing what's best for the majority rather than catering to the 20% of uber-liberals? Where are we going to draw the line in the sand? Let's teach our children about what a pledge really means and what is worthy of pledging to. And finally, let's put a halt to propagandizing our children before the next wave gets bigger and stronger.

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