The last poll I saw gave the positive opinion of the Congress of the United States at a little over twenty percent. In other words, almost eighty out of a hundred citizens of this Republic think their representatives are doodoo. Sure, Republicans are getting most of the blame for the shutdown and, IMO, deservedly so, but I'm worried about a lot more than that. The biggest reason I'm worried takes place in almost every classroom every day. I refer to the Boy Scout pledge we incorporated into our government in 1942. It's also a part of our Congress and is recited, allegedly with a straight face, by those Representatives and Senators who are not away raising money. SUpposedly, they believe in what they're saying. According to Wikipedia, the Pledge "should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute." Please continue after the break
Sounds impressive. There's only one little fly in the ointment. The Pledge is for allegiance, or loyalty, to the government for which the flag stands, which is a Republic, i.e. a government of the people's representatives. Pardon me if I'm wrong, but these are the same men and women whom eighty percent of the people think have their heads stuck in their lower colons. This leads to the question, "How can a thinking person promise loyalty to a government in which he/she not only doesn't have confidence, but which polls indicate is being run by incompetents and goldbrickers, who are more interested in their own agendas than the agenda of the country they're supposed to be representing? With a loss of confidence goes a loss of trust. This loss has been building with the cooperation of the NSA, drones, wiretaps, the TSA and a huge. and growing, surveillance society.
The fall in confidence didn't bother the Fifth Branch of government, Wall Street, until the suspicion of an epidemic of greed and stupidity spread to the stock market. That was serious. If a bunch of orangutans in Congress could destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, not only would thousands of kids go hungry, but, more important, multinational corporations would have trouble borrowing money. Wall Street has shown where its priorities lie and it's not about the welfare of the 99% except when it comes to consumer spending. Hence the beginning of movement in Washington.
Yet Wall Street gurus were scratching their heads for weeks why consumer confidence was falling. I hope it's not being rude to remind the Captains of Industry that when confidence fades in the folks who are running the country, it's natural there will also be suspicion about the folks who are trying to buy it. And, when the one percent and their PR firm, Fox News, works so hard to keep wages low along with taxes for the wealthy, sooner or later, nobody will be able to buy stuff except the 1%, who already have it all.
Stupidity, as I've written before, is no respecter of political party, wealth or religious affiliation. It's only a coincidence that most of the anal brigade happen to be Republicans this time around and most of the brownest happen to be from Texas. We've all had our turns.
So let's take a good look at that Pledge we tell our kids to take and instead of worrying about where their hands are or whether they're removing any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, let's worry about the polls their parents are taking that show so little respect for the people they've elected and so little understanding of how greed, sponsored by monied interests, is gradually destroying what liberty and justice for all we still have left. Then we can get started on the "under God" part, the stuff about "indivisible" and what kind of Republic we want to pledge allegiance to.