I am going to tell you a story about two pledges.
The first was written in 1892 and has been recited by Americaâ€™s public school children ever since. Some of the words have changed since then but it remains virtually the same pledge written over 100 years ago.
The second is a pledge recently shown by video, with the permission of the local PTA, to elementary schoolchildren in Salt Lake City in 2009. It was written and produced by Hollywood celebrities, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher both devout disciples of Barack Obama.
The first pledge as you may have already guessed is the Pledge of Allegiance. The Moore-Kutcher video should be called "The Pledge to Obama."
The video opens with that stylized portrait of Obama from the campaign and uses a quote from Harry Truman saying that the presidency is the "loneliest job in the world." It then moves to a line that says "Weâ€™d like you to knowâ€¦You are not alone."
After that we see a parade of Hollywood celebrities most of whom will never be remembered 30 years from now, making pledges about how they will help him. They pledge everything from using plastic bags at the grocery store to advancing stem cell research and my favorite, pledging to â€œsell my obnoxious car and buy a hybridâ€�. Cars are not obnoxiousâ€”self-righteous Hollywood celebrities are.
It looks harmless enough until you realize that they all appear to be making pledges to Obama himself like swearing an oath to king or dictator. And it ends with Demi Moore and Kutcher saying â€œI pledge to be a servant to my president and all mankindâ€�.
"Servant" to my president? Since when did we start pledging allegiance to a person in this country?
Just by coincidence about a week ago I found on YouTube a video from 40 years ago by that great American original Red Skelton. For those too young to remember, Red was one of the funniest comedians and entertainers of his era. And like many of his contemporaries--John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Ronald Reagan--he was an unabashed patriot.
The year was 1969 and like today America was tiring of a war and the very foundations of the society were being challenged. Red took the time on his very popular prime time television show to tell a story of how he learned the true meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance from an old teacher of his from his boyhood.
In it Red extols the virtues of freedom embodied in the Pledge.
The Moore-Kutcher pledge never mentions America or freedom. Their pledge is to man and a movement while Redâ€™s is to the flag and the ideals it represents.
But I guess this is what we can expect from liberals who for years have disdained the symbols of America and derided the belief in American Exceptionalism that many of their fellow citizens hold dear. They have systematically changed our educational system so that American Exceptionalism is no longer taught, and it has been replaced with a version of American history that emphasizes America's faults and failures and not its virtues and triumphs. So I guess we shouldnâ€™t be surprised when a local PTA thinks it is appropriate for young impressionable children to see this propaganda.
The leftâ€™s version of America is that we are just one of many nations on the planet and that we must atone for all the evil we have caused in the world, hence Obamaâ€™s penchant for apologizing about something every time he goes abroad.-- They put seem to put more faith in the United Nations than the United States.
American Exceptionalism is the belief that America has a special role to play in the world and is unique in that it was founded on a set of ideals and not by common heritage, ethnicity, or the presence of a hereditary ruler and ruling class. To be an American is to bear allegiance to this set of ideals whether you can trace your roots to the nation's founding or you arrived here a few years ago and just recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as a naturalized American when you took your citizenship oath last week.
Both pledges are linked below.
Which pledge do you believe in? The one dedicated to our flag and the ideals it stands for or the one dedicated to a single individual and a political agenda?
Time to choose.
Patrick Dorinson is a radio talk show host and commentator who goes by the name"The Cowboy Libertarian." He can be heard on a radio program with the same name Saturdays, from 5-6 p.m. PT on Clear Channel's KFBK radio in Sacramento, California.