The renewal of the pledge of loyalty exposes seditious, brutal, Trumpist hypocrites
I’m hardly the only one to claim that the increasingly fascist Republican Party is the modern equivalent of the Confederation – a militant, deluded, gut-wrenching insurrection against the spirit and letter of the American Way. When Biden (finally) begins to end our national health emergency, we should also renew the pledge of loyalty and then pressurize today’s right-wing traitors to openly stand up for what makes America apart. In this traditional claim I find no white supremacy, no disdain for institutions, no cynical rejection of certified elections – most certainly no endorsement of a violent Capitol insurgent coup staged by a doubly disgraced loser. On the contrary, there are values here that are worth the promise.
It is time (without the outdated invocation of Divinity) to resurrect this still useful commitment as it stands: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic it represents: a nation [under God,] indivisible, with freedom and justice for all. “
This promise immediately refutes the Trump attack on national unity: Neither “one nation” nor “indivisible” are ambiguous. Our first, arguably most important, goal must be a minimum of unity, which is of greater importance to any “melting pot” (however flawed), as problems go beyond regions (climate, pollution, economic growth, legitimacy of voting, racism, even transport and communication). Unity requires the integration of diversity sometimes under one tent, still a noble pursuit that in any case contradicts white supremacist extremism. After all, all decent Yankee citizens either support “freedom and justice for all” or waive any right to brag about their phantom patriotism – or the “genius” of the founders.
Reviving the good past
Thus the promise itself is an inspired response to the hypocritical cardsharps like Trump who slandered opponents in 2019 as if THEY disregarded the promise: “People are fed up with this stupidity and infidelity towards our wonderful USA!” Only disloyal (if not stupid) trumpers step with maliciously divisive, fascist fervor on American ideals that (as nothing less than “enemies of the people”) demonize liberals, pandemic scientists, journalists, immigrants, women, minorities and state election certifiers. No Trump opponent I know actively fuels national disagreement or undermines the ideal of “justice for all”. Brave activists campaign to control police abuses, rightly seek redress in the courts, and focus on peaceful elections. This is directly contrary to the simple standard against the rebellion of the lowest mob.
Obviously, perverted Trumpist insurgents have betrayed not only the Constitution, our best legal traditions and the pledge of allegiance, but legitimately elected officials who serve the majority of the republic. Why not force such criminal rebels to recite the pledge now (like testifying witnesses pledging to tell the truth) or to explain why they refuse to pledge? Didn’t these criminal traitors benefit from the democratic institutions that once served them as American citizens? Ditto, all the treacherous, painful losers of a certified election – who object only because they lost – are guilty of treason against the American way of determining leadership and power.
So I propose to renew the centrality of the promise. I would love to hear criminal trumpers recite it straight-faced, without exposing hypocritical hypocrisy. Anyone who professes “the republic” automatically endorses the constitution that informs them, plus seemingly curious, self-evident necessities such as majority rule and elections as the final decision-maker. No republic will survive if elections do not immediately interrupt the party struggle and otherwise erase the critical distinction between partisanship and governance (even an orderly transfer of power). This is the darkest side of immoral “stolen” election lies that turn politics into endless campaigning that destroys the ultimate sovereignty of the majority. To reject elections means to deny what makes any democracy a republic and vice versa – the quintessence of sedition. Corrupting politics as an endless campaign is nothing less than a harmful political filibuster where technical obstacles hinder the will of the majority.
No risk of equal opportunities here
Without question, the Trumpist deviation from proto-fascism that fuels today’s right-wing excesses is the political gang most responsible for the dishonoring of the promise. The promise provides a standard by which those who respect reason and reality separate apparently false patriots from those who insist that power and privilege be balanced by principle and accountability. To defy and then challenge the election results, piss on the Declaration, the Constitution and the best of America. If the elections are denied their pre-eminent place in democracy, why not oppose the laws, courts, precedents and thus justice? No loyal, sensitive, rational American can defend insurgent Trumpism without undermining the integrity of “a nation”, let alone the glory of “justice for all”.
Perhaps we should ask all voters to prove their good faith by backing the pledge before they are given the privilege of voting. If you don’t support the promise, what do you stand for? Injustice for everyone but white racists? Permanent privilege of the rich and predators? While many reject the invocation “under God,” this disagreement pales in comparison to the rejection of the heart of every republic: certified elections. Those who ruthlessly and lawlessly advocate a violent minority coup, which by definition is the worst violation of democratic rule, endangers their status as a constitutional citizen.
Another humble RB proposal
We need a slight revision of the promise to get to the point. Let’s add a few words of clarification, drop the suspicious statement about God as out of date (which violates the separation of church and state), and then we recommend all good citizens to support the following: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, the Republic and to mostly Usually confirmed by certified national elections, and to one nation, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all. ” Only those who do not believe in America would reject such a humble declaration.
After that, we can reconsider the even bigger, more open endeavor: to dedicate the government’s mission to “life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.” That mouthful of succinct notions requires far more than a few words of clarification, but it tests our national commitment to what the founders invoked to justify both the revolution and the formation of a democratic republic. If we do not persistently renew the values we claim to honor, we risk dismissing what could well unite a diverse country. Which company survives without a mission statement? If we forego public promises for the disorder of a republican democracy, which after 240 years has sustained but stalled, we will allow reactionary anti-democrats to gain a foothold more than they deserve. In fact, only constitutional commitment justifies the current outrage of a growing majority against a biased, theocratic Supreme Court opposing “justice for all” over elections, immigration, abortion or who knows what is next.