by Norman Berdichevsky (November 2020)
Three Flags, Jasper Johns, 1958
I recited the pledge of allegiance every school day in Elementary and Junior High School. The pledge was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, and formally adopted by Congress as the national pledge in 1942. Today, all of the descriptive terms describing the kind of republic that the flag stands for are not only under assault, they seem absolutely proscribed.
For the past half century, this attack on these once hallowed words has been a matter of Democrat Party policy. Their most important campaign tactic has been to cultivate the special interests of a dozen communities who claim that the Republicans are “waging a war” against every identifiable demographic in the electoral pie – women, “minorities”, Blacks, Latinos, the elderly, the poor, Gays, Muslims, immigrants (only illegal), college students, the unemployed, “kids” on their parents health insurance who can now be described as “children” up to age 26, the middle class and, of course, the “working class” and or “middle class,” who, we are told, together account for 99% of the American population, constantly exploited by the super- rich who comprise the remaining 1%.
Of course, none of the very wealthy Democrat Presidents or presidential candidates have come under such scrutiny or were deemed out of touch with the 99% (see the inherited family fortunes of FDR, JFK, Al Gore, and John Kerry who married into great wealth).
These identity groups are regarded by the Democrats as their “constituencies” whom Carter, Clinton, Obama, and now Biden regarded as selected, protected communities who owe their allegiance to the party that claims to be their guardian angel, the protector of all the oppressed (and Covid victims and potential victims today). A formerly favored group of acolytes are the Jewish liberal dinosaurs, never referred to as a minority now because most are well off and educated but who once were regarded as a natural ally. They are the one “ex-minority” that have been thrown off the cliff although the majority of them are apparently unaware of this.
Throughout the last six decades, since the end of the Sixties, the political Left in the United States has strengthened its dominant position among the “minorities” by cultivating an embracing sense of victimhood. Tammy Bruce, a lesbian author and former head of the National Organization of Women (NOW), has catalogued her own experience as to how an elite of “malignant narcissists” and a friendly media acquire and exert an entrenched control over their “victims” (The Death of Right and Wrong, 2004).
Whenever a Republican or conservative gay, black (for example philosopher and economist Thomas Sowell, Florida congressman Allan West, businessman Herman Cain, Secretary of Health Ben Carson, media commentator Candice Owens) or a “minority” Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, New Mexico Senator Susanna Martinez, Republican congressman, and Jewish Conservatives such as Ben Shapiro, embrace an agenda of liberty, individual responsibility, ambition, and entrepreneurship, they are condemned as renegades who have betrayed their communities.
Chief Justice John Roberts has rightly expressed his opposition to the “whole sordid business” of dividing the American population by race and ethnicity but the prospects are dim that we can escape the fate of all of us being forced into statistical boxes. My wife was born in Argentina and her first language is Spanish. Does she qualify as a Hispanic? Her parents were Yiddish speaking Jews who immigrated to Argentina in 1920. When she asked an official at the American Embassy if she should identify herself on a form to get her green card as Hispanic, the reply was— “I haven’t got a clue.”
The Orlando Sentinel (a newspaper that traditionally endorsed Democrats threw its support to Romney in the 2012 election) ran a story on page one entitled “Hispanic License Plate Could Sail to Approval.” The original design simply stated “Hispanics Discovered Florida” but the public relations team behind the proposal had to tone down the message to simply put the organization’s name on the design and a Spanish galleon in the center with the word UNIDOS in large print. Profits from the $25 tag fee would go to fund the group’s “administrative costs” and benefit a fund to aid Hispanic achievers. The group claimed a network of 14,000 subscribers, a small percentage of the state’s more than three and a half million Hispanics.
Of course, the absurd irony that no one bothers to pay attention to, is that the same mentality of group pride and a balkanized identity of hyphenated-Americans originally led most politicians on both the state and local levels to go along with cancelling “Columbus Day” to satisfy American Indian groups angry at the Spanish “discovery and conquest of the Americas” as racial genocide. Columbus Day was originally declared a federal holiday back in 1934 as an act by the Roosevelt administration to help assuage the feelings of many American Catholics, because there was then no national holiday that recognized an achievement by Catholics (and Italians). We have come full circle. Statues of Columbus have been one of the most frequented targets of Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
The additional words “Under God” were added to the pledge in 1954 following the suggestion of Louis Albert Bowman, an attorney from Illinois who was chaplain of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was motivated by Lincoln’s Gettysburg address in which Lincoln pledged that “This nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom.” During the Cold War era, many Americans wanted to differentiate the faith of many Americans from the state atheism promoted by the USSR and their Marxist ideology.
The policy of fragmenting the American population into hostile racial, ethnic, class, gender, religious, and national origin (immigrant vs. native-born) “constituencies” rather than by geography is the reason behind the demand for abolition of the Electoral College. This fragmentation policy was one of the forty-five principles enunciated in the “The Naked Communist” (W. Cleon Skousen, Izzard Ink Publishing 1958, 2014) designed to transform the United States into a communist society (see “America at Peril”; You Tube https://youtu.be/0zVSZuLpnq4).
It is frightening to see how many of the 45 of Skousen’s communist principles have been implemented already (arguably at least 38 have been fully implemented) —Harris/Biden will likely to see to the rest.
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Norman Berdichevsky is a Contributing Editor to New English Review and is the author of The Left is Seldom Right and Modern Hebrew: The Past and Future of a Revitalized Language.
Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast