“One nation, under God, indivisible…”
I know a lot of folks have complained over the years about the Pledge of Allegiance – that bit of prose many of us recited at 8:15am every week in elementary school. The complaints, as far back as I can remember – had to do with the phrase “under God” and whether it was a violation of church and state. Ultimately, yeah I guess it kind of is – and I’m not quite sure if they recite it anymore in most schools today.
What really gets me though, is that those other words seem to be more of a falsehood than “under God” – “one nation / indivisible”. If you’ve seen the campaign ads this election season, it’s more apparent than ever. Our society feeds upon garbage news like TMZ, and our leaders see that and take advantage of it. Political messages aren’t about what candidates can do to help us grow as a city / state / nation – they’re about how horrible the other guy is or what the woman on the other side of the political aisle said that one time in haste.
Tonight marks the end of another political cycle, and I hope we never see campaigning as bad as it has been. Politicians have been nothing but bullies, name calling and finger pointing behind Super PACs – just because it didn’t come directly from their campaign doesn’t mean it’s not their message.
Maybe I just shut everything off and put blinders on, but I don’t remember it being so bad four years ago. I do remember reading books by both candidates – Obama and McCain – and realizing how rational and reasonable both men truly are. They both strive for teamwork, but as I’m sure Obama has found – it’s hard when everyone around you forces you to take a stand for every issue when most aren’t really all that black and white. Transparency in government and destruction of Super PACs might help soften those pressures, but it will ultimately take time. We’ve seen it with social issues (women’s rights, minority rights, and now gay rights) – the same changes will happen politically – or we’ll fail as a society – I sure hope for the former.
By the time most will have read this, the counts will be finalized and we’ll be heading down a certain path, for better or for worse, together. I hope we can remember that.