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Remember when Michael Dukakis was smeared as unpatriotic for supporting Jehovah's Witness children in not reciting the pledge? (A good man, with all the charisma of a Romney)
Wat's de pledge, pliss? For us extraterrestrians? Hail Hitler?
Our own happy little pocket of paradise recently had a fuss over the pledge. Some flag-wavers wanted the town selectmen and all assembled to recite it before they could get down to the far more patriotic business of fixing potholes. If they really want something sobering and evocative, there are appropriate sentiments in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. That should set the right tone.
The pledge is fatuous and infantile in any of its forms and Bellamy was a fool. The cynicism he hoped to counter was a direct result of an oligarchic boot on the neck of the country. Remove the boot and you remove the problem, but that entails something more energetic than a maudlin incantation.