Friday, April 17, 2009

I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag

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.

Republicans, now largely reduced to a regional party south of the Mason Dixon Line, have found their issue to regain national power -- abandon their pledge of allegiance and build up a head of steam to secede from the republic altogether. Texas Gov. Perry hinted that Obama's programs to save the nation from economic disaster may be such a blow to the constitution that the people of Texas may raise up to secede from the Union.

Texas Republican conservative icon Tom DeLay, who also thinks secession is a valid option, said on Hardball Thursday he thinks Governor Perry is "standing up for the sovereignty of Texas."

If the situation were reversed, if a Democrat suggested secession when Pres. Bush was still in office and Republicans controlled congress, that Democrat could well have been "renditioned" to Git'mo as an anti-American terrorist, or at the very least pilloried by Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the conservative media. To Perry's suggestion of secession Rush says,
"In light of all that's happening, Obama's speech on the economy justifying the basic destruction of the US... [Perry's] Support of States' Rights... is great stuff..."
Some other prominent Texans sum up my thoughts better than I can manage:

Texas state senator Rodney Ellis:

“It was only 12 years ago that Texas had a deadly stand-off with those [Republic of Texas movement] urging secession. Governor Bush stood up to those fringe elements. I urge Governor Perry to ramp down the rhetoric and state unequivocally — as Governor Bush did in the 1990s — that secession is not only not an option, it isn’t going to be part of the political discussion.

“In the last week, we’ve seen an extremely troubling escalation of rhetoric. Talking about state’s rights, the oppressive hand of the federal government and secession brings up some pretty bad memories in this state. It was not all that long ago that those were the exact words used by those who opposed desegregation and the civil rights movement. The top elected official in the second largest state with our history simply cannot be so loose with his comments. He’s not a radio or cable TV talk show host."

Texas State House Democratic leader Jim Dunnam, had some words for the governor as well:

Every Texas elected official takes an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. I take oaths seriously, and that one most of all. And every day during the legislative session we pledge "allegiance" to the flag of the United States.

We even require every public school child to recite the pledge -- every day. That is "one nation, under God, indivisible."


Yesterday, our Governor had the opportunity to disavow anti-American rhetoric of secession. He chose not to, and instead he chose affirm those who believe and actually contemplate that our nation is divisible.

What do I say to my youngest daughter when she asks "why do I recite the pledge every day at school, if our Governor doesn't believe it?"

Hopefully Gov. Perry simply made a mistake; a mistake I call on him to correct by unequivocally declaring that our nation is one and indivisible, and that talk of secession from the union is thoughtless and reckless.

Perhaps he did not understand that words are important and that talk of secession carries heavy meaning.

Some hear this talk and associate it with racial division - an issue that caused over 600,000 Americans to lose their lives in a Civil War.

Others are incited by this kind of reckless rhetoric. I believe that the role of Texas Governor is to lead us to a better place, not stoke the fires of divisions.

Talk of secession is an attack on our country. It is the ultimate anti-American statement. Serious discussion that we would even contemplate dividing our country, the greatest country in the world, shows lack of judgment -- and any words from the Texas Governor will be taken seriously. Finally, such statements -- particularly in a time when we are at war overseas, with over 4,000 American lives lost, and thousands in combat as we speak -- are both offensive, irresponsible and not the words of a patriot.

I am surprised that Governor Perry would reinforce a sentiment that is so clearly anti-American. He should choose his words more carefully unless they are intentional, and if his words were intentional, they should be condemned.

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