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The Pledge of Allegiance: A Brief Commentary

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Message Michael Abrams
In the film Runaway Jury, John Cusack's character demonstrates that he can manipulate a jury by showing that he can make them stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in court. I submit that a similar kind of manipulation is going on at the beginning of every school day in classrooms all across the country. The Pledge of Allegiance is just one of the many forms of political indoctrination peculiar to American society. It helps to ensure that its young will have already been suitably 'programmed' by the time they are old enough to realize exactly the kind of society they are a part of-or do anything about it.

Here's my brief commentary:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America...

No truly peace-loving nation would ask its people to pledge allegiance to any flag. Flags are for battlefields: potent symbols of a nation's military power and prowess.

Currently, our nation's government seems infinitely more committed to the well-being of a piece of colored cloth than it is to the welfare of its own people,

... and to the Republic for which it stands...

A republic is distinguished from a democracy in that the people are kept from effective self-rule by a layer of elected representatives. This indirect system is an invitation to manipulation--all but guaranteeing that,a plutocratic elite will continue pulling the strings behind the curtains.

In designing our system of government, the Founding Fathers drew much of their inspiration from Rome. The US seems well-poised to follow its tragic example of a republic devolving into a tyrannical Empire.

... one Nation, under God...

The US is beginning to show many of the earmarks of a theocracy, as its leaders become more and more adept at manipulating its citizens' religious passions for their political purposes.

Perhaps we can never fully know God's will, but the will of the people is fairly easy to ascertain. Easy, that is, unless the outcomes of major elections are subverted by such obstacles as an antiquated Electoral College, a malfunctioning Supreme Court, corrupt state governments, and a system of electronic voting that doesn't leave a paper trail.

... indivisible ...

A single power-mad administration has done what a savage bloodbath of a Civil War couldn't do: wedge the American people into two irreconcilable Blue and Red camps.

... with Liberty and Justice for all.

Item: "Compared with other countries, the United States has among the highest incarceration rates in the world....As of 2003, the incarceration rate in the United States was 482 per 100,000 residents. For the most part, the U.S. rate is three to eight times that of the Western European nations and Canada."
Source: Wikipedia, "Prisons in the United States"

Item: "Unlike most Western governments, the U.S. government does not guarantee publicly funded health care to its citizens, leading to a notably high number of people suffering from lack of proper healthcare." "Enrollment rules result in millions of Americans going without health care coverage, including children. The most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that 45.8 million Americans (about 15% of the total population) had no health insurance coverage during 2004 This constituted a rise of about 850,000 from the previous year.
Source: Wikipedia, "The United States", "Health Care in the United States"

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Michael Abrams is an American writer currently based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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The Pledge of Allegiance: A Brief Commentary

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