With Liberty and Justice for All

“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 Pledge of Allegiance received official recognition by Congress in an Act approved on June 22, 1942. I was born four months later. My birth had nothing to do with The Pledge of course. However, the oath impressed me deeply as I grew to know and understand its importance. So much did it stir me that I memorized it even though I was then, and still am, a Canadian. “One nation”, “under God,” “indivisible”, “with liberty and justice”, not only for just a few wealthy people at the top, but also “for all” people irrespective of race, color, creed, or economic status.

I realize “under God” was added later, but by then I had memorized The Pledge as I had learned it. By then, I believed in the importance to the whole world: “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” To my knowledge then, no other nation on earth, not even my Canada, had set such an ideal course for the Ship of State’s “Philosopher King” to sail.

However, that was then; this is now. What has happened to that ship? Its last presidential elections demonstrated all too clearly that the United States of America. is a profoundly divided nation. Clearly, not so divided as to be ready to fight another Civil War: not yet anyway, but divided nonetheless. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the reference “under God” is unconstitutional (dividing passionate believers and equally passionate non-believers), and it is very clear that there is neither liberty nor justice for all.

If one is rich and/or famous enough, apparently one can escape the consequences even of murder. Ask O.J. Simpson about that. Evidently, too, Black men can be shot and killed even if unarmed and their “assassins” seemingly go unpunished. Rich corporations can do their damage too.

For example, to date only one person has gone to prison as consequence of the mortgage debacle that put the U.S.A. into major recession. On the contrary, on Sept. 8, 2008, the U.S. Treasury seized control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and pledged a $200 billion cash injection to help the companies cope with mortgage default losses ( http://www.bankrate.com/finance/federal-reserve/financial-crisis-timeline.aspx#ixzz4UdTgp22v). How is that for corporate welfare? Surely, the government could have better used the money to build more affordable housing, improve health care, or provide better and cheaper college educations for “American” youth.

Consider, too, that Donald Trump says he will do away with Obama Care (which has made medical care cheaper for many who didn’t have it before) to replace it with what he hasn’t said. One wonders whether President-Elect Trump even knows. He often seems to say one thing one moment, then something entirely different the next. He shoots from the lip and seems so unaware–or perhaps he is all too aware–of the consequences. “America’s” latest “Captain,” sadly enough, seems intent on steering the “Ship of State” onto the rocks! Certainly, his rhetoric reflects little of the ideals inculcated in The Pledge of Allegiance. At least to this outsider, President-Elect Trump’s allegiance looks to be to one Donald Trump.