Would you take the pledge?

Hey fellow Dopers:
I recently emailed this letter to Barack Obama.

Would you take the pledge?

	An open letter to Barack Obama:

Dear Senator:

Are you the one?
Are you the one to lead Lady Liberty toward her rightful destiny?
Are you the one to follow the American Dream; even as it leads you against your own prejudices?

If your vision is true, take the pledge and live it, take the pledge and vote it, take the pledge and voice it.

If you will do this, others will follow.
The Pledge of America
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their existence with certain unalienable Rights. Among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among People. I pledge my life, my vote and my voice to secure these Rights for all People.”
It is In This We Trust.

It is on this Balance of Justice that we weigh our constitutions, our policies, our laws, and our judgments.
It is on this Standard of Gold that we base our businesses, our relationships and our society.
It is on this Touchstone of Truth that we assay our lives.

This is the American Religion.
This is the American Commandment.
This is the American Faith.
This is the American Dream.

Lead the Dream

r.w. jefferson

It depends, the quoted part isn’t bad, I’d say it back when I was young if it was presented to me in school.

The rest of it is retarded sounding and I wouldn’t say it because I’d feel like an idiot saying it.

Is there any reason to doubt that he believes in those values? Why single out Barack Obama for this pledge?

The quoteded part is the pledge.

The rest is just a little deeper.


Parroting a pledge that someone else has written is for half-wits. What gives one person the right to compose a pledge and demand that others recite it?

Darn, you know all my tricks.

It just seems to me that the people who that insist that they are patriots, generally put their beliefs ahead of these truths.


Sorry, I went of half cocked

It is the preamble of the Declaration of Independence and so vague and general that pretty much any politician could take it honestly. :slight_smile: Seriously, I don’t really think most people would agree with that pledge’s sentiments.

I sent it to him because he gave an eloquent speech.

I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to carry the Dream as far as Martin.

It is for all Americans. All people of the World, the Universe.
Thanks for your patience.


What purpose does a pledge serve? Will someone who doesn’t believe in those values refuse to take the pledge, so they can be indentified? Or will their recitation of it make them believe in those values?

I will disagree with that. One cannot “honestly” take this pledge and then turn around and support a law to deny equal rights.

Who but a Tyrant, a Terrorist, or a Bully would disagree? This “sentiment” is what our Forefathers fought and died for.

I agree with both comments.
If one simply parrots this pledge; that one is a (potential or actual) tyrant, terrorist, bully…, or half-wit.

I think the key word here is “demand”. Ironically, demanding others to recite any pledge is anathema to this pledge. This pledge has more meaning if it is said quietly or silently and with understanding.

The reciting of the pledge is simply how we teach our children about our ideals
It is the living of the pledge that has true meaning.


Does my response to BobLibDem satisfy your questions?


Sure, maybe. But if someone sent me a pledge like that to sign, I’d be awfully suspicious that some right-wing whack job had built an insidiously clever trap into it. Signing pledges is serious business, and it behooves anyone to take a good hard look at anything that they’re asked to sign, and a good hard look at the people who are asking for the signature.

I disagree with this. Children learn far more by watching us than by listening to us. Instead of reciting words at them, just act as you think your pledge requires you to act, and hope they copy you. Oaths, in general, are pointless. Either your the sort of person who does the right thing, making the oath redundant, or your the sort of person who does what he wants to regardless of the consequences, making the oath meaningless.

And any politician worth his salt could lawyer his way out of an oath like the one in the OP without even breaking a sweat.

Also, “Standard of Gold” is a poor turn of phrase, and pretty much meaningless in the context you’re using it.


Sorry, but reading it, all I could think of was William Shatner.

Sure. But since you sent it to Barack Obama, who is an adult, what was the point of him signing it?

I am arguably none of the three, but I would disagree, in a nit-picking sense. There are situations in which the state will deny a person their life or liberty (and therefor presumably ‘pursuit of happiness’ as well).

We have scads of people in prision. Does this mean that ol’ Barak should try to get them all freed? (Thus restoring their liberty and ability to pursue happiness). Since the oath doesn’t seem to involve just US citizens, I am rather against the idea that we cannot deprive our enemies of their life.

No offense intended, but your letter is useless feelgood rot. May as well ask a politician to sign an oath against the microwaving of puppies or something. Not to mention, ‘The American Religion’? A bit goofy, if you ask me.

Squink: Does my response to BobLibDem satisfy your questions?

Miller: Same question to some of your comments.

Anything out of the quotes is simply expository on my account. It is not part of the proposed pledge.

I did have some difficulty with those three lines.
The “Gold Standard” is another way of saying the “highest possible standard”.

To determine the just value of gold, merchants would use a balance. They would assay that gold on a touchstone to determine its purity.

How would you say it?

The question is not: whether or not to have a pledge. We already have one; that’s a different debate.

Me for one. As I have said before in this forum the view that rights are “natural” and “inalienable”, that is the idea that rights are an absolute thing, is a limiting and selfinterested position. The only benefit from such a conception is the automatic justification for any belief a person cares to hold: “Why is it OK for me to own black slaves? Because it’s my God-given right!” It’s easy to avoid the reasoned opinions of others once you convince yourself that you have a right to. Basically this is no more of an argument than my seven year old nephew can come up with: “Why? Because I said so!”

Do you have any real understanding of the ideologies of the revolutionary generation? Do you grok the Country/Court divide in Whig thought? Are you aware that as resistance began the colonists were full of praise for the Ancient Constitution of Britian while at the same time altering it to suit their needs? Do you know what “No Taxation Without Representation” meant when the term was coined in England the 1640s? Can you explain how the North American colonists changed the meaning to suit their needs in the 1760s?

In short, do you get that the people who founded this nation had different ideas about what constituted “liberty” than you or I? People like Jefferson, Washington, even Franklin, owned other human beings as property. They didn’t favor equal rights for women or minorities. Do you really believe they did not “honestly” favor the liberty they spoke so eloquently about?

Liberty is an chameleon. It means different things to different people. Eric Foner has written an entire book tracing various threads of liberty through American history ( The Story of American Freedom ). Terrorists and Tyrants also believe in liberty, though again different ones than you or I would favor. To condemn people as enemies of liberty without any idea of what freedom means to them is ignorant and arrogant.

Did you really swallow the line that the terrorists attack America because they hate freedom? That’s for the rubes, my friend. Welcome aBoard but if you hope to last here in Great Debates you are going to need more sophisticated arguments than you have brought so far. I wish you luck.