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.
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