by Ken Self
I pledge allegiance to the Citizens of these United States of America, to serve and defend their inalienable Personal Rights, granted by their Creator, which duties these individuals have Constitutionally delegated to the Republic of these United States, and to acknowledge that the Republic exists for the Citizen and not the Citizen for the Republic.
With all of the recent turmoil resulting from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding the Pledge of Allegiance, I have had occasion to contemplate the relationship between the State and the citizen, and whether such a pledge is appropriate at all. If, as I surmise from reading the Declaration of Independence and other documents written by the Founding Fathers, the government is merely an agent to protect the rights which the individual citizen has by virtue of being Human, then why is it assumed that the citizen is subject to the State, which requires this pledge of allegiance? Haven't we, over the years, turned things, as they should be, upon its head? And doesn't the pledge of allegiance imply that we are subjects and not citizens after all?
My bizarre (at least by today's standard) outlook is not as uncommon among my fellow government employees as one might imagine. We also feel beleaguered by a bureaucracy gone mad. One of the books that has been making the rounds at work lately is 1984 by George Orwell. We recognize ourselves in Winston Smith. We know Big Brother personally. We recognize political correctness out of control. We know right-think and right-speak firsthand. In fact, we have to be "double-plus good duckspeakers." A duckspeaker, by the way, is someone who can quack the party line well or someone who speaks, but makes no sense at all, depending on the context. The pledge of allegiance, I believe, is just another example of right-think and good duckspeak. It is an attempt to make us forget that the individual is superior to the aggregate masses and that the government exits by the consent of the governed. It is an attempt to rewrite the history of the founding of this country (as you will recall rewriting history was Winston Smith's job) and to make us forget.
If a citizen's pledge of allegiance is inappropriate to our country's founding principles, then maybe a politician's and government employee's pledge is appropriate. And if, when we make this pledge, we mean the words we utter, then maybe we can all realize the appropriate relationship between government and citizen.
Ken Self [send him mail] works as a civilian employee (chemist) of the Department of the Navy.