The American Pledge of Appliance

Let’s face it, the American Pledge of Allegiance…Great idea, rotten execution. Yet, it sounds so good we like to say it anyway.

The problem is, every time we recite it we end up lying through our teeth. I’ve decided to solve this problem, so I’ve come up with a new pledge which I would like to introduce to you all today.

I give you, the American Pledge of Appliance.

I pledge allegiance when I feel like it,
To the flag which I may now burn.
Of the Two Nations of America that switch places every 4-8 years,
And to the Fake Democracy for which it never stood,
Two Nations;
We are gods;
Affectible;
With stupidity and tolerance for all.

30 thoughts on “The American Pledge of Appliance”

  1. I pledge allegiance when I feel like it,

    I assume you’re referring to those of us who don’t say the pledge when it’s recited in school. I’ve talked about this before, in one paragraph in a post I said:

    I do not feel that mindlessly repeating words is an adequate measure or representation of my appreciation for this country. I don’t think that half the people who say it every morning mean it. And I know that if I were to recite it every morning I would not mean it. Well done to those who do think about it every day when they say it. But I prefer to show my love for my country in quieter ways.

    And I wrote a whole post about it here.

    To the flag which I may now burn.

    Now? We always could. As backward as it may seem, burning a flag is an ultimate American thing to do. There are three types of speech: Speech, Speech Plus and Symbolic. All three are protected under the first amendment. That includes burning the flag which shows that a citizen is passionately upset about something that is happening in the way our country is being ruled. Think about it: A person can complain about the government all they want and say there are injustices all they want, but words are ignored. Is burning the flag more powerful? Yes. I would never burn the flag, but I don’t think it’s a right we should remove. Ironically, flag burning is a sacred American right.

    Of the Two Nations of America that switch places every 4-8 years,
    And to the Fake Democracy for which it never stood,
    Two Nations;
    We are gods;
    Affectible;

    I wholehearted agree with this.

    With stupidity and tolerance for all.

    I do not understand this so much. Mainly because you grouped tolerance in with stupidity to give it a negative connotation. Tolerance is something our country was founded upon and something that we have striven for throughout our nation’s history. People came here to experience tolerance in their religion, we outlawed slavery to promote tolerance to African Americans, we gave women the right to vote to promote tolerance to women. What is bad about tolerance?

  2. Sorry, a little continuation about tolerance: What’s so bad about tolerance especially after that part of your pledge I agreed on? Isn’t tolerance the solution to that problem?

  3. Elyse: Ummm… I’m a little confused with your tolerance thing. I don’t think of African American Rights, or women’s suffrage as a result of toleration. I think that these were an attempt to make each group more of an ‘equal’ to those that already had rights. A push for equality, not ‘tolerance’, tolerance implies that you are just dismissive and don’t care, or that you are putting up with something even though you don’t believe in it. I think that the rights issues were things people got to the point that they really believed in it, and it wasn’t so much ‘putting up with’, they really believed it was essential. I don’t really see how that example ties into these issues… sorry. Could you maybe clarify what you meant about that?

    And as for why tolerance is grouped with stupidity, I would think it would be like that because being tolerant sometimes is not good. If you are blindly tolerating something without a view or opinion, I don’t think that is a good. Some things I don’t think people should be ‘tolerant’ of. Are we going to ‘tolerate’ criminals? Gosh I hope not. Or terrorists? There are some things that people can’t just ‘tolerate’. Am I even making sense? Sorry if that made no sense, let me know and I will try to it explain what I am trying to get across better :) . Maybe I am just not seeing what you meant…

  4. Tolerance to me is accepting other people’s points of view instead of refuting them carelessly without listening. Tolerance to me is a vital facet of American life. Unless we learn to tolerate people’s ideas and beliefs, we will continue to be divided. Webster defines tolerance as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own or the act of allowing something.” Wikipedia has a good article on it too.

    African American rights and their growth over the course of a 100 years was definitely a result of tolerance. African Americans were not tolerated in Southern society even in the 1960s, they were forced to go to different schools, sit in the back of the bus, etc. (You know, so I won’t go into it). That is intolerance towards a group of people.

    Women’s rights is a result of combating intolerance as well. Men were intolerant of the idea that women could contribute to politics or the workforce in a meaningful fashion and thus barred them from doing so for centuries. Women in American culture and others fought against this idea of intolerance.

    Equality doesn’t come from nowhere. Equality comes from a group of people who feel they are not being dealt with fairly and are not being tolerated properly, so they rise up against the intolerance that stands against them.

    In today’s society, homosexuals deal with massive amounts of intolerance against them. Is that fair? No. That’s why there is the massive Gay Rights Movement that is sweeping the nation now.

    Toleration is having your own opinion and at the same time respecting another’s. Toleration is keeping an open mind that is willing to learn from someone else from a completely different walk of life with different circumstances. Is that stupid? No. Is anyone perfect at tolerance who is an advocate of it? No.

    What terrorists do is not pardonable, but their reasons behind it must be noted. We must try to understand people and where they are coming from in order to solve problems, not blindly push forward without analyzing every side of the story.

    Tolerance to me is a willingness to listen, to understand and to appreciate other’s viewpoints.

  5. African American rights and their growth over the course of a 100 years was definitely a result of tolerance. African Americans were not tolerated in Southern society even in the 1960s, they were forced to go to different schools, sit in the back of the bus, etc. (You know, so I won’t go into it). That is intolerance towards a group of people.

    Women’s rights is a result of combating intolerance as well. Men were intolerant of the idea that women could contribute to politics or the workforce in a meaningful fashion and thus barred them from doing so for centuries. Women in American culture and others fought against this idea of intolerance.

    Oh, I see what you meant. I agree that women and African Americans faced intolerance before, but I don’t see how gaining their rights was an act of toleration. Does that mean we are still ‘tolerating’ them? Is the only reason I can vote (well, when I turn 18) is because I am ‘tolerated’? I see what you mean by toleration, but I think toleration has a different connotation to it. As you said, Webster says it is “Sympathy or indulgence”, and I prefer to believe that the fact that I can vote was not out of pity, but the knowledge that women are equals to men.

    Toleration is having your own opinion and at the same time respecting another’s. Toleration is keeping an open mind that is willing to learn from someone else from a completely different walk of life with different circumstances. Is that stupid? No. Is anyone perfect at tolerance who is an advocate of it? No.

    Sometimes having your own opinions means that you have to stand up against others. You can’t be tolerant of everything, it would contradict itself eventually. You need to have opinions. Being tolerant of everything just wouldn’t work.

    What terrorists do is not pardonable, but their reasons behind it must be noted. We must try to understand people and where they are coming from in order to solve problems, not blindly push forward without analyzing every side of the story.

    I agree that you should hear every side of a story before deciding action. But I’m sorry, if someone kills someone else, I don’t think we can tolerate it, regardless of their side of the story. There are lines that you just can’t cross and receive sympathy and indulgence still.

    Tolerance to me is a willingness to listen, to understand and to appreciate other’s viewpoints.

    I agree that we should listen to their viewpoints, but I also believe that there are things that we just can’t tolerate and still be living up to our own personal morals.

  6. Oohh, let me clarify a bit or this is going to come back to haunt me…

    But I’m sorry, if someone kills someone else, I don’t think we can tolerate it, regardless of their side of the story.

    I said that really badly. I believe that you should always listen to someones side of the story, and then take action accordingly…. there are always exceptions, and I said too permanent an example there…

  7. It was an act of asking for toleration. That toleration led to acceptance (for most people). Toleration is the stepping stone to acceptance. Toleration is a choice to accept, acceptance is just something that exists. Men and women are equal, blacks and whites are equal? I feel both of those are true. Those are commonly accepted values. But at some point it had to start with a group of people choosing to tolerate.

    Part of the sadistic joy of choosing toleration is that things get so much more muddled but at the same time you gain such a better understanding of situations. Yes, it’s a headache for me sometimes when I say I’m going to listen to the kid across the room who is diametrically opposed to a lot of the things I intrinsically believe, but he challenges me and causes me to adjust it to something that makes more sense as I know I do for him. Tolerance is a willingness to change and to adjust and to realize that you can’t always be right. I have opinions and I voice them, but then by the same token I listen to other people’s opposing opinions and see if there’s anything there I can agree with. Trust me, if only you could talk to some of the kids in my Civics or CWP classes, you would know I’m one of the most opinionated people in the room– but they would also say that I respect what other’s have to say as well and am willing to concede a point upon the realization that I was wrong about something. That willingness to concede when I’ve been had is something may would see as a weakness, but seeing as it’s something I’ve worked so hard to achieve, I see it as a strength. It is against human nature, it takes discipline to be able to listen to someone honestly like that and evaluate how you stand up to the opinion of another.

    I agree that you should hear every side of a story before deciding action. But I’m sorry, if someone kills someone else, I don’t think we can tolerate it, regardless of their side of the story. There are lines that you just can’t cross and receive sympathy and indulgence still.

    We’re killing people in Iraq. Innocent people at that. Is there excuse for that? Of course there is. We hear it every day.

    I guess at the end of the day it depends on what your personal morals are. My personal morals involve listening and accepting the fact that I am not right 100% of the time and acknowledging that to hold to my opinions without allowing them to change is futile and will result in a stagnant personal political theory. Constant change to me is a thing to be sought after, not something to run and hide from. And I suppose that’s where we differ.

    (That is not to say that every day I have different opinions or that it is particularly easy to change them. I’m having a hard time handling my words tonight and capturing what I mean in regards to that. Forgive me.)

  8. By the way, CWP stands for Current World Problems and the adjustment to your previous statement is noted. I just didn’t see it while I was writing it.

  9. Yes, I agree with a lot of that, a couple things I just see differently, I suppose. I don’t believe that I am running and hiding from change, by any means, I am not sure where that came from, if I said anything leading you to that, I was not very good at getting what I meant across. Change is a never-ending thing, and I am not hiding from it. I try to acknowledge when I am wrong, and I think that with every piece of knowledge gained you need to re-evaluate, and know why you believe what you believe.

    (That is not to say that every day I have different opinions or that it is particularly easy to change them. I’m having a hard time handling my words tonight and capturing what I mean in regards to that. Forgive me.)

    I am in the same boat… I apologize also…

  10. Yeah, I wasn’t implying that toward you…just a lot of the people I would consider intolerant at my school and I didn’t elaborate on that.

    In all honesty, you would not be a person (judging from this conversation) that I would consider intolerant. You had an honest discussion that wasn’t hateful or argumentative it was just a discussion and exchange of ideas. I think we did a pretty decent job of respecting each other and maybe that’s what it comes down to for me as well: How well someone can respect another when they are voicing their own opinions.

    In conclusion, typing online about this sort of thing at 11:30 at night is likely a bad choice and it is incredibly easy to imply things you didn’t mean to imply. I do see where you are coming from though and there are some things that, upon thinking about it, I do not back down on basically– it might be their implications, however, that I allow to change.

    For instance, basically I believe in avoiding physical force and going through as many negotiation routes as possible before applying force, however, we just had a topic in my CWP class which was “Should the US engage in negotiations with Iran and Syria? What risks do we face in either case? Explain.”

    “That’s tough. It depends on what the goal of negotiations is. For Iran if it’s to try to avoid nuclearization and the war we’ve all heard whispers of, then it’s worth the best shot we have—especially after entering into no negotiations with Iraq and seeing the international backlash that resulted from that. However, if it is to try to gain support in the Middle East for our actions in Iraq, it is frankly a waste of time unless we’re willing to bring our policy with Israel back on the table. The bottom line is that the region is not particularly happy with us at the moment and to negotiate for peace when we’re already engaging (and started) in warfare in Iraq is not going to result in terms America will be pleased with or willing to accept. Peace talks feed off of world opinion and how much a country feels it can ask for based on international opinion; because a large portion of the world is still displeased with our actions in Iraq and our policy regarding Israel, Iran and Syria will feel as though they can legitimately ask us for more and we will be placed in a position we likely won’t want to be in.
    Weird I know. You would have expected me to be an insane proponent of peace talks and negotiations. But I have to recognize the reality that we’re too deep into this situation for any solution to be easy or clear cut.”

    So I suppose that’s what I mean. On the deepest of deep levels, I’m a proponent of peace and trying to talk through a situation, but I realize also that that is not always an option.

    I don’t feel as though I’m making sense and should probably call it a night.

  11. Holy crap.

    Well, I had no intention of starting all of this and some of what I said was carried farther than I meant it to be, but carry on anyway, it’s interesting.

    I think explaining everything in the pledge would somewhat ruin it, though as clarification the pledge is not at all what I believe, but a picture of what is happening in America right now contrasted against what was supposed to happen.

    I’ll answer the questions I see regarding the pledge.

    I assume you’re referring to those of us who don’t say the pledge when it’s recited in school…

    It can be, but not necessarily. The Pledge of Allegiance is something everybody says but hardly anybody means, or even knows what it stands for. We are all for America (pledging allegiance) when our party is in power, but as soon as something bad happens or we loose power, the country is headed for hell. People pledging allegiance one day are moving to Canada the next because they don’t agree with a war.

    As for burning the flag…Come on. We’re pledging allegiance to this flag, but we burn it when we aren’t 100% in control. This nation wasn’t founded for you, it was founded for all of us together.

    Now as for stupidity linked with tolerance…The point is, we’ve got way to many stupid people in charge (we always have), and I don’t think anybody’s going to disagree with me. We will, however, disagree on which ones are stupid.

    As for the question of tolerance, you can see my views on that here: With Liberty and Tolerance For All

    We were founded on equality, liberty, and justice. This is not always equal to tolerance. Tolerance, when taken to the extent that we’d like to, destroys itself–it can’t help but do so.

  12. I agree with that last statement about tolerance. I think I showed more of what I mean about it in my poorly formatted prior substantive comment. Just that my intrinsic opinions don’t change, the foundations of them don’t change, but the policy and implications of them I allow to change.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your explanation about that first part of your pledge now…thanks for the clarification. It’s just kind of a sore spot for me based on past in-class experiences and being called un-American for it.

    Okay, and burning a flag because Republicans/Democrats took office is pointless. However, just for the sake of discussion, what if during the African American Rights Movement, a flag or two was burned because they believed that America wasn’t standing up to its Constitutional standards by allowing them equal rights and therefore was, to them, rendered ineffectual and the flag useless? That would be a powerful and acceptable use of flag burning. Partisan reasons are pathetic and should be socially inexcusable. But to deny people who are being excluded from full integration into American society even when they are considered citizens (or if they aren’t and feel they should be for whatever reasons…and it’s happened before; ref the Native Americans) who, to them, the flag is useless is unconstitutional. We have a right to tell the government when something is intrinsically unfair (I think intrinsic is my favorite word of the night), and it’s easy to ignore words. It’s harder to ignore our flag being burned.

    It’s one thing to shake our heads and shame those who burn it for reasons so petty as partisan politics when they aren’t truly being underrepresented and take meaning from those who would have a justified reason for doing so. And we should, whenever a flag burning happens in our communities, honestly evaluate the person’s reasons behind it…whether they were petty or worthwhile and act accordingly. We don’t need a constitutional amendment that would further limit someone who is already disenfranchised from voicing their opinion the only way that would allow them to be heard.

    I hope that made sense?

  13. I pledge allegiance to the taste

    Of carne asada of Muchas Gracias

    And to the goodness for which it is purchased:

    One burrito, underpriced, totally amazing,

    With smiles and heartburn for all.

  14. Oh, sad. It is a sign of affection that I insult you. That is what I do to the people I like. Twisted? Yes. Fun? Infinitely.

    And I like how we spam Elliot’s blog with this conversation.

  15. I’m on AIM all the time. Too much so. In fact, sometimes I’m not even sure why I get on there, because people start talking to me and I realize I don’t have time to do so anyway.

    Must be an addiction of some sort.

  16. my uncle went to swaziland one time. anyway, i really don’t know why so many people put negative spins on the usa. Sure we are all messed up, but how good are we ever going to get? it’s a fallen world. We’re never going to be this perfect nation. And look at us compared to everything else. Our quality of living is extremely high.

    oh and btw i didn’t really read any of the really long comment posts heh.

  17. But being content with where you’re at will only allow you to slide into apathy, and from apathy to lower standards, and from lower standards to corruption.

    Sure, we’ve got a better thing going on than most, but it’s still not as good as it was supposed to be. And unless somebody wants to get there, we won’t.

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