What is it that makes us pledge allegiance to our country or enumerate the principles of our faith? What is the purpose of these declarations of loyalty, of these succinct distillations of what it means to belong to a tribe, to OUR tribe? The answer is not hard to find. We do these things when our tribe and our sense of belonging to it come under attack, when someone or something challenges the truths that we hold most dear, the very foundations of our self-identity.
In America, this happened when the South decided to depart from the United States of America; when it declared that the differences that it had with the Northern states were ideologically irreconcilable. The American Pledge of Allegiance was tailor-made to cement the North’s victory in the Civil War by succinctly declaring the three principles that made one an American, a member of that tribe called the American People. And what were these three principles? In a manner that harkens back to the Christian Holy Trinity, they are the three facets of only one foundational principle, that of an indivisible political entity called the United States of America, its form of government (a republic), and its treatment of all individual citizens equally, providing them with liberty and justice. Like all such pledges, the Pledge of Allegiance works best by negation. It is addressed to the flag, THE FLAG, of the United States and not to any other symbol such as the Confederate Flag. It defines, for the first time, indivisibility as a foundational principle of the Republic, and finally it promises liberty and justice for all, meaning not only Americans of European descent. It is clear that those who supported the Confederacy could never recite this Pledge freely and without mental reservation, since they would have had major issues with all three of its clauses.
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
-The American Pledge of Allegiance, Thatcher, Bellamy, et al. circa 1860s to 1948
The Rambam (acronym for Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon) created his thirteen principles of the Jewish faith for similar reasons. In his lifetime, which spanned the second half of the 12th century CE, Jews and Judaism came under a sustained attack from Christians and Muslims alike both physically and ideologically. Both Christianity and Islam accepted Judaism as the first religion that recognized the unity of God and rooted itself in His commandments, but both claimed that their human prophets, Jesus and Mohammad, respectively, superseded Moses and with him the entire foundation of Judaism as a monotheistic faith. In essence, both Muslims and Christians laid claims to being a new and improved Judaism, a Judaism 2.0, if you like. Rambam’s principles specifically reject these claims by stating that God could never have fathered a son since He has neither human form nor human desires and that no prophet has ever or will ever supersede the first prophet, Moses. Even the number of principles chosen by Rambam, thirteen, was selected to distance Jews from Christians, many of whom considered it to have been unlucky.
I believe with all my heart that God is one now and forever.
I believe with all my heart that God has no corporal body, no corporal manifestations, and that He has no likeness.
I believe with all my heart that Moses was the first and the greatest of all prophets now and forever.
-Three of the thirteen principles of Jewish faith, written by Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon 12th century CE in my abbreviated translation
In short, both the American Pledge of Allegiance and Rambam’s Thirteen Principles say the same thing: if you fully accept us, you can be an American or a Jew. If you do not, then you are something else entirely.
Interestingly, the Pledge, born of the Civil War, was elevated to an official status and updated with the words “Under God”, in 1942 and 1948, respectively, when the US came under the challenge of totalitarian regimes. The first challenges came from Germany and Japan, both of which required an injection of patriotism on the part of Americans to successfully defeat. Then came communism in Russia and China, a form of totalitarianism that denied the existence of God as one of it foundational principles. The introduction of God into the Pledge of Allegiance was meant to separate America from its geopolitical and ideological rivals not only via “liberty and justice”, but also via godliness.
The beauty of the Pledge is in its very purpose; it answers the question “who is American”, just as Rambam’s principles answer the question “who is Jewish”. Much more importantly, however, both of these litmus tests answer the questions “who is NOT American” and “who is NOT Jewish”, respectively.
I am not a very observant Jew at all. I do not observe the Sabbath or the dietary laws. Yet I can never accept that God had a son or that Moses had ever been replaced as His greatest prophet. Had I accepted either one of these tenets, I would immediately, at that very instance, cease being a Jew.
In the same manner, an American citizen who rejects the saying “ALL LIVES MATTER” ceases to be an American for the very specific reason that this phrase is simply another way of saying “liberty and justice for all”. After all, isn’t life the foundation of both liberty and justice?
Conversely and just as straightforwardly, those Americans who proclaim “BLACK LIVES MATTER”, immediately cease to be Americans because they state a belief that only blacks are entitled to liberty and justice. If that were not the case, why say that phrase at all? America guarantees, at its foundational level, that all lives, including, of course, black lives, do indeed matter.
The phrase “BLACK LIVES MATTER”, is thus a photographic negative of the Pledge of Allegiance, its complete negation. It is, at its core, a Pledge of Betrayal. The betrayal of the United States of America and all it had ever stood for.
If I, God forbid, would ever recite the Muslim declaration of faith, which proclaims that Mohammad is the messenger of God, I would be betraying two millennia of my ancestors who steadfastly refused to make such a declaration even when it could have been very advantageous for them to do so. The same goes for me accepting, God forbid, that Jesus was the Messiah. Treason is as treason does. We either pledge allegiance to our tribes, or we betray them.
What percentage of Americans yet belong to the American tribe and what is the percentage of traitors among those who hold the immense privilege of American citizenship? Interestingly enough, I am not aware of any polling that directly asked the question “would you recite the full Pledge of Allegiance freely and without reservation?” It would be an interesting poll indeed. I suspect that the reason it’s never been done is that American patriots are fearful of finding out how few of them remain and American traitors wish, for now, to keep the massive “progress” they have made towards destroying America a secret.
Be it as it may, we have some fairly reliable anecdotal data. In 2016, 48% of Americans voted for President Trump. We can safely assume that they are patriots. Of the 52% that voted for Hillary Clinton, I doubt that as many as 10% are patriots. The rest are most definitely traitors. Today, we can all witness that there is only one “speech” that is protected in America, protected quite literally, by 25 NYPD officers in Manhattan. That speech is the Pledge of Betrayal: “BLACK LIVES MATTER”.
Many forms of speech are now forbidden in America, First Amendment be damned, but one of the most prominent ones is that variation on the Pledge of Allegiance: “ALL LIVES MATTER”. This form of the Pledge is so “verboten” that even uttering it sotto voce around the water fountain at your workplace or at an after work gathering can get you an immediate dismissal for cause from your corporate or government job.
So we can say with a high degree of confidence that the high/low estimates of the percentage of traitors among the American citizenry is between one half and one third. Bad? Don’t worry, it gets much worse than that. If we ran the Pledge poll among Americans making $100,000 a year or more, we would find, most likely, that no more than 15% of them are American patriots, while 85% are traitors. To be very generous, we may assign the high/low percentage of traitors among the American elites to between five sixth and two thirds.
If this shocks you to the point of disbelief, think of all the abuse that the American Flag, the symbol of the Republic, the very subject of the Pledge, is being subjected to these days. Try to send your kid to school with the flag on his or her shirt or ball cap. Wear it to work in your corporate office. See what happens.
Folks, if I told you of a country in which between one third and one half of its citizenry despise their national flag, a country whose elites, the vast majority of them, despise the very ideological foundations upon which it had been founded, would you expect this country to have a long and prosperous future? Or would you perhaps predict that this kind of unfortunate polity is soon to be consumed by civil war, followed by its enemies picking off any spoils yet standing?
Many of us yet trust in the political process in America. If only President Trump gets reelected, we say. Yet the entire premise of the Pledge of Allegiance is that it is, that it MUST be, above the political fray. What the Pledge says is that Americans may disagree on everything, except on the Republic, its pledge of equal treatment of ALL lives, and the Flag that symbolizes these values. Once the substance of the Pledge itself becomes fodder for political debate as it has now become in America, the country itself, the American Tribe, the American People, substantially cease to exist.
Trump’s reelection will not make patriots out of traitors. It may simply keep at bay, for a while, the traitors’ ambitions for the destruction of America, which is, obviously, a good thing. Cancer patients do not say no to treatments that prolong their lives, even if just for a few months or a few years. Yet they know that these treatments are not cures, that they do not defeat the tumor, that they only put its growth in temporary abeyance. These people get busy putting their personal affairs in order, finding ways to enjoy the time they have left.
The traitorous progressive cancer that has invaded America is clearly untreatable. In 2016, American patriots were dreaming of illegal aliens being shown the way out. Today, American patriots, people who are the descendants of original European settlers, people who built the country that the illegals are now looting, are being herded into second-class citizen status and branded as systemic racists. Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, have nothing whatsoever to fear.
Perhaps the remainder of the American tribe can regroup in parts of what was once the US of A. Things, even when very bad, are seldom hopeless. May we find solace in that.