Saturday, September 5, 2015


It seems so childish, somehow, "signing the pledge."  Don't you think?  Even the ego-driven Donald Trump capitulated, a couple of days ago, to the Republican leadership's demands that all their candidates for the office of the presidency sign a pledge to support the eventual nominee, to be first and foremost a good Republican, no matter what.

A similar demand was made of Republicans, as I recall, to sign the Grover Torquist tax pledge, swearing (in blood?) never, in any circumstance, to raise taxes.

How absurd!  (A confession: as one who was conferred with American nationality nearly half a century ago, I have always balked at the "Pledge of Allegiance."  I was never asked to pledge allegiance to the Queen.  Why start with America?  Or the American flag?  No disrespect, but I just don't get it--just as I never got "America right or wrong.")

Republicans in the U.S. Congress seem, too, to have signed a pledge to never, in any circumstance, support anything President Obama says or does, no matter how rational or obviously sensible--whether by word or by vote.  Is it not remarkably strange that not one single Republican has come out in support of the current diplomatic deal with Iran, worked out with the support and approval of other world powers? What, everyone, except for themselves, is wrong?  And they are all right?  Are they required to check their brains and their critical thinking, along with their conscience, at the door--and substitute them with, what, a shared belief?  Am I to believe that not one single Republican has taken the trouble to work this through and conclude there is some ounce of wisdom in what has been negotiated by intelligent and thoughtful people on both sides, and over so many months and years?

Are they still mesmerized, decades later, by Nancy Reagan's "just say no"?

And of course their mechanical, universal rejection of everything else this President has said and done, since his first day in office, stands as testimony to their blind allegiance to the party line.

It's all belief-based.  Reason is looked upon with scorn.  Pity poor America, to be so ill-served by men and women who willingly set aside their ability to think for themselves and act in accordance with judgments based on careful analysis of the facts rather than with a core of shared preconceptions and partisan cant.
To "make this country great again," as Mr. Trump would have it, will take more than loud-mouthed nay-saying and prejudicial bombast.  Our "greatness" derives from innovative thinking, risk-taking, the embrace of the new--and the newly-arrived--as well as collaborative effort and progressive action; from the ability to listen, observe, and learn, not from boastful claims of power and infallibility.  It derives from a combination of adventurous vision and solid pragmatism, and not from hot air and taking pledges.

And here I made a solemn pledge to myself not to write any more about politics!


Funny... the creators of this Trumpenstein are now at a loss as to how to control him.  Who'd have guessed?  See this article from today's New York Times.

1 comment:

Richard said...

"Trumpenstein" had me chuckling. I can't quite believe that they'd sign up for such an utter monoculture, without diversity of opinion and dissent how do they ever expect to grow or evolve? Mind you, I might answer my own question in a way there; suppose they don't want to?

I can't see closing the avenues of dissent ultimately proving to be good idea, either.

We have our own political fun and games over here with the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. This discovery of a politician that might have some principles and be prepared to actually oppose whilst in opposition is proving fascinating.