Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ticked-Off Crowd Pledges Allegiance Anyway

There is something about this that seems to summarize life in America today: touching, chaotic, nutty, and, well, just embarrassing -- all these qualities being mixed up with a moderate dose of hostility and anger. Just like the good ol' U S of A!

According to this story on a right wing web site, it all began normally enough, when things suddenly took a side trip into Goofyland:

At a U.S. congressional candidate debate this past week, the crowd of approximately 300 in attendance drowned out the moderator's objections, not to protest over government policies or to argue some candidate's comments, but to insist upon reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Illinois' 8th Congressional District candidates had gathered at Grayslake Central High School in Grayslake, Ill., to participate in a debate moderated by Kathy Tate-Bradish of the League of Women Voters, Evanston branch.

During Tate-Bradish's opening comments, an audience member [who apparently thought he had walked into ninth grade homeroom -- LH] stood to ask if the Pledge of Allegiance would be recited.

"No, we are not," the moderator responded, "That is not part of the proposal tonight."

Several in the crowd then began to shout, "Why not?"[while others shouted "Boo!"]

When it became clear Tate-Bradish was not going to allow the Pledge to be recited, the audience stood and said it anyway.
I suppose I would have joined in the Pledge myself -- a thing the Democrat and the Republican did and the Green Party candidate did not. But the reason is mainly that I hate to be a party pooper. If the folks around me are having fun doing something, and my non-participation would have a wet blanket effect, then I'll generally join in, provided I see no harm in the thing.

On the other hand, I've never really cared for the Pledge. And the idea of having children begin every day by swearing their loyalty to the state really bothers me.


Max said...

Have you seen James Clavell's The Children's Story? I think it's still available on YouTube.

Max said...

I just watched the video. That was absolutely wonderful! It captures the present rebellious political mood perfectly. (I'm an atheist, so I never say "under God." It's a bit irksome, and it wasn't even in the original pledge. At any rate, this is not the important thing in this context.)

This is going to be a very exciting election. Studying for my upcoming physics exam is going to be hard!

Lester Hunt said...

Oddly enough, I had never heard of "The Children's Story". I'm watching it now. I see on Wikipedia that it was inspired by a conversation that the author, James Clavell, had with his then-six-year-old daughter Michaela about the Pledge. In the film the now-adult Michaela performs the role of the New Regime teache

Ann said...

Wild! The Pledgers are coming across as the 'radical's and the lady moderator sounds like a prissy establishment type. A reversal of the 60s stereotypes. Then again, part of the fury over Obama is that his administration seems to embody the 60s view - America is bad, we need to apologize. These Pledgers are rebelling against that notion it would seem. So much political theater in an election year. I wonder if we're going to see the present Congress hosed off the sidewalk on Tuesday.

Lester Hunt said...

I thought that the election that was dominated by Sarah Palin and Tina Fey would be the most entertaining one I would see for a while, but the very next one turned out to be right up there!

I keep thinking of a quote from H. L. Mencken. When he was asked "You criticize America so much, why do you stay here?" he sometimes answered with another question: "Why do people go to zoos?"