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Trump's Phony Patriotism Clashes With the Radical Roots of America the Beautiful and the Pledge of Allegiance


Trump's Phony Patriotism Clashes With the Radical Roots of America the Beautiful and the Pledge of Allegiance

Peter Dreier, Dick Flacks

“We all salute the same great American flag,” President Donald Trump told an enthusiastic crowd at a rally of evangelical Christians and military veterans at the Kennedy Center on Saturday.

"Many Americans believe that Trump has brought shame, not respect, on the American flag. His brand of flag-waving patriotism is rooted in xenophobia and racism."


“America now confronts a New Version of the Gilded Age, brought about by Wall St Greed and Corporate Malfeasance…”

And a Corrupt, Bribe Taking, Treasonous Congress, a Corrupt, Sold Out Supreme Court and a Figurehead, Totally Controlled (not by the People) Presidency.


“We want young Americans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.” (Trump)

The key word in this statement regarding patriotic verses and documents that so many use to proclaim their patriotism is “recite”. To mean anything, a document needs to be read, as in make an attempt to comprehend. I remember as a child in school reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every day. In all those years, not one teacher made any attempt to discuss the meaning of those words, who wrote them, why and what those words should mean in my life. Years and years of reciting, but never once a follow up discussion. After so many recitations, those words meant absolutely nothing to me. Reciting the Pledge just became an everyday exercise I was forced to to repeat to show my loyalty to God and country.

It’s easy to understand, then, how reciting these patriotic verses can become twisted by men like Trump and others on the far right as pledges not to question authority, not to protest, not to hold leaders accountable. In short, waving the flag in whatever form gets distilled down to reciting, never reading, never making an attempt to comprehend.


Certainly appalled Woody Guthrie, prompting this patriotic hymn:

"I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate
He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed that color line
Here at his Beach Haven family project

. . .

I’m calling out my welcome to you and your man both
Welcoming you here to Beach Haven
To love in any way you please and to have some kind of a decent place
To have your kids raised up in."



My guide is to figure out what Woody and Pete would think, and there is the path.



Since 911, virtually every single GOP male in the U.S, government wears his little flag pin on his lapel, constantly. What the hell are they trying to prove, or rather, who are they trying to fool?
The Darrell Issas, the Newt Gingriches, etc, All of them spineless, double crossing human slime. As to the “macho” quality to most of them, they are typically cowards who took deferments from military service. I’ve seen drag queens in gay bars with more balls than the pudge Republicans that have morphed like amoebas in a pile of dung all over the national scene. What a fucking joke. Happy Independence Day from a group of people who have anything BUT your independence in mind,


You have made an excellent distinction in your comment!


Thank you! Please think of Woody on July 14, the 105th anniversary of his birth!


Indeed, a valuable distinction. But remember that those of us who grew up “reciting” the Pledge, including the changes made to keep us in check, are the ones who later recited “question authority” and still do so. Somewhere along the way, we took a look at what we were reciting.

I used to sing George M. Cohan’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and relish going to fireworks on or around my birthday every year. But I can’t quite stomach the jingoistic recitations that precede the fireworks now, and it’s too hard for me to get my disabled body into the other side of the field after the handicapped parking spaces are filled up. So I stay home and maybe raise a little ruckus on line.

Thanks to Dreier and Flacks for including my own patriotic theme song, the Phil Ochs. “C’mon and take a walk with me through this green and growing land, …”


If only the real History of this land was taught in our schools. And really I think the turning point for what we are today was about 100 years ago. WWl–moving people away from the farm----there has been a theft going on for a long time and it continues to this day.
A great wealth gap that exists today and those in power push the largest transfer of wealth to the top disguised as a healthcare plan.
Trump is the perfect symbol of the insanity that runs through the US. Most people really don’t want to know US history because it is not something to be proud of.


Trump is actually the symbol of the oxymoron, the perverse paradox of “America the Beautiful”. Let’s be real. Spacious Skies? Filled with methane gas from animal agriculture, the NUMBER 1 cause of the global environmental crisis and preventable disease. Yet, iconic to US consumption, there they were last night, feeding their own young a carcinogen that causes pancreatic cancer, hot dogs, heart disease, burgers, and other well marketed body parts from slaughtered animals! Amber waves of grain? REALLY! What % are not GMO’s and causing bee colony collape and super bugs so biotech corporations can make more chemicals and robotic pollinators to control food? Purple mountains? Blown to bits for mountain top coal removal!!!Fruited plains? Cattle or mono-crops sprayed with toxins…And those shining seas? Dead zones of toxic, radiated, polluted oceans that were once home to whales, seals, sharks, dolphin, octopus, squid, and other highly sentient marine mammals being massacred for the fishing industry that steals THEIR food for humans!
I do NOT salute flag, nor am I proud of a nation that poisons its own young and appears to have taken up where the Nazi’s left off, using military force
to procure resources and make more, not less enemies… We just celebrated a LIE, stealing this once pristine, life giving, natural wonder from native people who at least had a reverence for Mother Earth and all she provided.
America is its own worst enemy as it rose to become what it claims to abhor.