Pledge of Allegiance
Do We Really Have a Nation Undivided?
by John Crowder
Francis Bellamy composed the “Pledge of Allegiance” in 1892. It was his expression of loyalty to our flag and to the United States of America. The original version penned by Bellamy in 1892 was:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The Pledge of Allegiance has been modified on four separate occasions, the latest occurring around 1954. The current version reads as follows:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The pledge is often recited in schools at the beginning of each school day, at the commencement of many business, religious and governmental meetings. Also, all congressional sessions commence with the recital of the pledge. Wouldn’t you think our elected officials could comprehend the meaning of what it was they were reciting? We are talking about one sentence, 31 words for the latest version; 22 words as originally written.
Does anyone feel like we have one nation; an indivisible nation? No way. As a nation, we are drifting to further divide and discord. No longer can political parties discuss their differences, hammer out compromised solutions and work toward common goals for the good of the people. Dialog, cooperation and finding middle ground has been replaced with confrontation, altercation and conflict. It’s “us versus them.” It’s “my way or the highway.” Don’t compromise, dominate. If the other side doesn’t agree; yell louder, fight dirtier. Embarrass the opposition; belittle their demeanor. Lie, deceive, confuse and misdirect. Prevail at all costs.
Enough is Enough is Enough
We, the people, need to take back our government and force our representatives to represent our needs—the people’s needs—comprised of all political affiliations. Our elected officials must compromise, they must govern and most of all they must heal. A one-party domination leads to unilateral policy directives at the detriment to all others. It also leads to failure of that party to win reelection once the pendulum swings too far to one side. This enables the other party to win, push too hard and then lose their majority position. Have you ever seen that happen before? I just finished reading a good book call The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. In it is a saying that perfectly illustrates my point of view.
Paraphrasing: “If something happens once, it will not happen again. If it happens twice, surely it will happen a third time.”
Our nation has faced many recent perils: the most severe economic downturn since the “Great Depression,” the fiscal cliff, hurricanes, droughts, flooding and—the biggest calamity of all—a recent presidential election process. All have conspired to test our will and challenge our faith. To right this great ship, we must possess the intestinal fortitude to demand that our elected officials steer a course to govern in our best interests, not theirs’. Absent dialog, compromise and unity for the greater good, I fear our fate is truly sealed. The truth is that inaction today will have little effect upon those responsible for those actions, but will have a dramatic effect upon our children and to all their legacies thereafter.
What goes around truly does come around. More than 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The cause was different but the effect is the same. What is needed now is for the republic to come together with a singular motive to do what is needed to provide the same opportunities for future generations we have all so dearly enjoyed. In other words, follow the example exemplified by our Founding Fathers.
George Kessel is president/chief financial officer, Morgan-Wightman Supply Company and AMD Treasurer.
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