A 13-year-old boy has just received a lesson in “patriotism” at a Montana county fair. He suffered a fractured skull and several hours of bleeding from his ears for refusing to remove his hat during the singing of the National Anthem. That’s because 39-year-old Curt James Brockwell picked the kid up by his throat and slammed him into the ground. Brockwell declared that the boy “was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that.”
The City Council in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, recently voted to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of city council meetings. They soon encountered 100 angry protestors waving American flags and chanting, “U.SA.!” Weighing into the controversy on behalf of the protestors, MAGA President Donald Trump went on Twitter to declare that “our Patriots are now having to fight for the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I will be fighting with you!”
One of the fascinating aspects of all this is the fact that from the time the United States was founded, through the entire 19th century, and until the early part of the 20th century, the American people did not have a national anthem or a Pledge of Allegiance.
What does that make the millions of Americans who lived during those 100 plus years? How can there be any doubt? It’s got to make them unpatriotic America-hating traitors. What other explanation could there be for their continued refusal to adopt a national anthem and a Pledge of Allegiance for more than a century of the nation’s existence?
One reason I find this phenomenon so interesting is that today’s “patriots,” including Trump, have embraced a political and economic system that is opposite to the system that our “unpatriotic” American ancestors adopted.
The system of our “unpatriotic” American ancestors consisted of no income taxation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, public housing, drug laws, immigration controls, economic regulations, public (i.e., government) schooling systems, Federal Reserve, fiat (i.e., paper) money, national security state, Pentagon, military industrial complex, forever wars, wars of aggression, undeclared wars, invasions, occupations, coups, torture, assassinations, mass surveillance, Pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI, Homeland Security, TSA, war on terrorism, HUD, ICE, DEA, and many more welfare-warfare state departments, agencies, and programs that we live under today.
That’s what our American ancestors called freedom. That was the system that they celebrated every Fourth of July. And they saw no need to incorporate a national anthem or Pledge of Allegiance as part of their system. It’ can’t be because they were unaware of national anthems and loyalty oaths because European regimes were adopting them. I can’t help but wonder whether the reason was that they believed that national anthems and loyalty oaths were antithetical to the principles of a free society.
Today’s Americans have adopted a system that embraces all of those things. Interestingly, many Americans today also believe that they are free, notwithstanding the fact that their system is opposite to the system of our American ancestors.
Two opposite systems. Both sets of Americans calling themselves free. And one set of Americans rejecting a national anthem and a Pledge of Allegiance. And the other embracing them with great fervor.
I also find it fascinating that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist. What is amusing about this aspect of the phenomenon is that many MAGA defenders of the Pledge are ostensibly opposed to socialism. Like their leader Trump, they have declared that America will never turn socialist.
That’s funny because they obviously don’t realize that Social Security, Medicare, welfare, public housing, foreign aid, public schooling, the Federal Reserve, immigration controls, and the other things they support are rooted in socialism. (Hey, they don’t call it Social Security for nothing. The idea of Social Security originated among German socialists at the end of the 19th century and was later imported into the United States.)
That’s why many of these MAGA people dislike us libertarians and wish we would shut up. We remind them of these discomforting truths about their mindsets, including their devotion to socialist programs.
Consider the date that the Star-Spangled Banner was made the official national anthem of the United States: March 3, 1931. That was the decade that would usher in the monumental transformation of the United States from a free-market economic system to a welfare state. That was the decade when Social Security, the crown jewel of the welfare state would be adopted.
Of course, the transformation toward socialism was sold under the rubric of “saving free enterprise” but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation: with their adoption of the welfare state, which is based on the Marxian notion of having the state forcibly take money from those to whom it belongs in order to give it to those who supposedly need it more, Americans began embracing the worldwide trend toward socialism.
Can it really be just a coincidence that the adoption of a national anthem, which foreign regimes were doing as well, happened at about the same time America was embracing the worldwide move toward socialism?
Indeed, consider the year that the Pledge of Allegiance was adopted: 1942, in the midst of World War II. The official name “Pledge of Allegiance” was adopted in 1945, around the time that the U.S. government would be converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, which is a type of totalitarian structure, to fight a Cold War against the Soviet Union, which had been America’s wartime partner and ally. Can that really be just a coincidence?
How many Americans have ever heard of the Bellamy Salute? I’ll bet not very many. Take a look at this entry on Wikipedia. Francis Bellamy was the socialist who crafted the Pledge of Allegiance and who also came up with the way that Americans, including schoolchildren, people should recite the Pledge. Pay particular attention in the Wikipedia entry to the photograph of American schoolchildren reciting the Pledge with outstretched arms. For some reason, the Bellamy Salute was later abandoned in favor of having schoolchildren put their hands over their hearts.
(Yes, believe it or not, a socialist crafted the Pledge of Allegiance. I’ll bet those 100 MAGA protestors at that Minnesota City Council meeting don’t know that. Why, I’ll bet Trump himself doesn’t know it.)
Interestingly, from 1942, the year that Congress formally adopted the Pledge of Allegiance, until 1954, the Pledge did not contain the phrase “under God.” Does that mean that the American people who lived during those 12 years, while “patriotic,” at the same time hated God? Fortunately, Congress fixed the problem in 1954, thereby placing the nation in God’s good graces.
Socialism, militarism, interventionism, imperialism, the national anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance. They are all part and parcel of modern-day American “freedom” and “patriotism.” Unfortunately, that 13-year-old Minnesota boy has had to learn how to be “freedom-loving patriot” the hard way.