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Pledge to America -- behind the scenes

Republicans finally unveiled the full text of their Pledge to America last week. What struck me most were the opening few lines. They seemed, well, reminiscent of something...

America is more than a country.

America is an idea -- an idea that free people can govern themselves, that government's powers are derived from the consent of the governed, that each of us is endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is the belief that any man or woman can -- given economic, political, and religious liberty -- advance themselves, their families, and the common good.

Here's how I imagine the writing process went...

By Alexandra Petri  | September 29, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
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Comments

Hilarious!

Posted by: GC4Life | September 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

So I suppose by posting this, you do not think the Declaration of Independance declares and sets forth principles that are relevant to abide by in the pursuit of solutions to modern day problems?

You see, the sad thing is, there are going to be many readers of your column for whom your xtranormal video will be their first encounter with the Declaration. They have been insulated in Marxist/socialist thought all of their publically educated by the teacher's union members lives. Concepts like being paid in proportion to the objective value of what you do are alien to this generation. Also alien is this notion that rights are intrinsic to man, inalienable, and not something granted by Obama to get re-elected.

You see, the sad thing here is we have a public school educated generation in which 4% of people think Stephen King, rather than Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick. If they get basics like that wrong, how many times do you think it is necessary to repeat the Declaration of Independance and the Constitution of the United States of America in order for them to abandon the philosophical wasteland of nanny state progressive thought?

There is a whole generation of people who do not understand that demand drives up price, and supply drives down price. They are mystified when you point out things like rent control and other price fixing schemes reduce supply and quality, or if you let prices rocket, new business springs up to meet that demand until prices come down. They just don't get economics. They think that we all live in a world with a fixed pie that should be split up fairly among all upon the basis of need without regard for the amount of work they did in making that pie, and they naively assume that in that kind of world people will still be motivated to work.

So yeah, principles embraced by our founding fathers are repeated verbatum in the pledge, but those principles do indeed point the way out of the morass of unemployment and debt the progressive left of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama have given us. Reading once again those founding documents and looking to them for answers is the right track.

I suppose you had issues with the font type and pitch used on the pledge too.

Posted by: Wiggan | September 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The satire fits perfectly next to the "clean coal technology, It works" propaganda.

Posted by: mus81 | September 29, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I like this Alexandra Petri, how about we get rid of Thiessen's column and just run Alexandra Petri's column twice

Posted by: Potter2 | September 29, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant, in some universe, Alex.....

You thought about the Founder's writing process, and came up blank? What do you come up with when you don't think?

Americans for Excellence in Blogging

Posted by: RichNomore | September 29, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to make this so easy even the far left can understand. What's the first thing you think about when you hear the Pledge to Alliance to the flag. Your hand over your heart. The Pledge to America is meant to restore America. Hand over the heart and love of country. Obama's Pledge to Socialism means what. Alliance to Obama and only to Obama because America makes Obama sick to his stomach. Don't take my word for it. Obama said it better. I want to fundamentally change and transform this country. If Obama had American fundamentals, then there's no reason for him to change anything is there?

Posted by: houstonian | September 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Ms Petri ... that's funny ... but not as funny as the comments from the boneheads that responded ... one of them thinks the average American is so dumb that compulsory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance is the only way to keep Americans American ... and then another one follows by parroting the charge that Obama is a socialist ... the irony ... maybe everyone in the nation should stand in rows first thing in the morning like the Chinese do and recite excerpts from the Declaration of Independence ... wow ... do these boneheaded sheep even realize that they are the poster children of the masses that true socialist tyrants leverage in China, Russia, etc?

Posted by: goCubs | September 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh ... I forgot ... in response to Wiggan The Economist ... let's see if you can fill in the blank:

Once _____________, individuals are no longer deprived of access to means of production so they can freely associate themselves (without social constraint) to produce and reproduce their own conditions of existence and fulfill their needs and desires.

What'ya think? Sounds like good ol' American economics? ... let's take a closer look, shall we?

In the anarchist, communist and socialist sense, free association (also called free association of producers or, as Marx often called, community of freely associated individuals) is a kind of relation between individuals where there is no state, social class or authority in a society that had abolished the private property of means of production. Once private property is abolished, individuals are no longer deprived of access to means of production so they can freely associate themselves (without social constraint) to produce and reproduce their own conditions of existence and fulfill their needs and desires.

Watch out ... looks like the tea bag string is dangling from your tooth ...

My advice to you is ... put down the tea bad and walk away slowly ... no ... run away from the light as hard as you can ... pick up a book on common sense and logic (and a copy of the First Amendment while you are at it) ... maybe even something that would give you a marketing skill so you have something to sell and get a job ... and stop listening to the Bush and other Neo-Con Real Socialists ... they sold you a (tea) bag of goods ...

Posted by: goCubs | September 29, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

That was very funny. That the boneheads who call themselves conservatives think they're the only people familiar with the Declaration of Independence and all other people are ignorant american haters is truly a testament to the level of utter contempt they have for the majority of people. When do we lock and load and bag the tea baggers? Electorically speaking of course.

Posted by: kchses1 | September 29, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

So I suppose by posting this, you do not think the Declaration of Independance declares and sets forth principles that are relevant to abide by in the pursuit of solutions to modern day problems?

You see, the sad thing is, there are going to be many readers of your column for whom your xtranormal video will be their first encounter with the Declaration. They have been insulated in Marxist/socialist thought all of their publically educated by the teacher's union members lives. Concepts like being paid in proportion to the objective value of what you do are alien to this generation. Also alien is this notion that rights are intrinsic to man, inalienable, and not something granted by Obama to get re-elected.

You see, the sad thing here is we have a public school educated generation in which 4% of people think Stephen King, rather than Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick. If they get basics like that wrong, how many times do you think it is necessary to repeat the Declaration of Independance and the Constitution of the United States of America in order for them to abandon the philosophical wasteland of nanny state progressive thought?

There is a whole generation of people who do not understand that demand drives up price, and supply drives down price. They are mystified when you point out things like rent control and other price fixing schemes reduce supply and quality, or if you let prices rocket, new business springs up to meet that demand until prices come down. They just don't get economics. They think that we all live in a world with a fixed pie that should be split up fairly among all upon the basis of need without regard for the amount of work they did in making that pie, and they naively assume that in that kind of world people will still be motivated to work.

So yeah, principles embraced by our founding fathers are repeated verbatum in the pledge, but those principles do indeed point the way out of the morass of unemployment and debt the progressive left of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama have given us. Reading once again those founding documents and looking to them for answers is the right track.

I suppose you had issues with the font type and pitch used on the pledge too.

Posted by: Wiggan
***************************************
The saddest thing is that people like you seem to actually believe that load of BS the GOP is selling about how us liberals are Marxist, or worse.

Guess what? You and your ditto-head fellow travelers are NOT going to redefine your loony-toon far right tendencies as mainstream conservatism nor are you going to redefine moderates as fellow travelers of Chairman Mao.

Go waste the time of someone as obviously gullible (or disingenuous - take your pick) as yourself. Why? Because if by some horrible mistake the voters put the GOP/Tea Party in charge of things, it won't take more than few months to discover they haven't got a single practical, politically achievable idea that will move this country forward.

Posted by: st50taw | September 29, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Geeze! The dumbhead conservatives who keep crowing "Socialism" don't understand that without it we have NO public schools, VA hospitals, public Libraries, no prisons, jails, highway and food safety control, only volunteer fire departments , and (God forbid) NRA militia nut gangs as a "police" force - fighting drug gangs and other criminals, a TOTAL turnover of all jobs and wages to Robber Barons like Sinclair, JP Morgan, Carnegie, Rockefeller, et al? - with no regulations or ANY KIND of hope for working folks?

The stupidity and ignorance of the anti-government Tea Party Beck/Limbaugh/Fox ditto-head right wing scumbags is ASTOUNDING!

Posted by: lufrank1 | September 29, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Boners "Pledge to America"...we pledge to put you all in poverty once and for all so us reich-wing authortarians can control you until we're tired of you being part of this society.

Posted by: dcp26851 | September 29, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Wiggan, suggest you look in the mirror. A long booooring post is no proof of superior intelligence or education.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 29, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Actuallly, Lufrank1, the boneheads don't even understand what socialism is. It's not public schools or jails.

Socialism is:

1. A theory or policy of social organization which aims at or advocates the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land, property, etc., by the community as a whole, and their administration or distribution in the interests of all.

2. A state of society in which things are held or used in common.

Conservatives keep wailing about government taking over business etc, but that is not socialism! Socialism is when the PUBLIC (including the boneheads) own the means of production.

There is absolute zero that is socialistic about America or President Obama.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 29, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Forgive this former professor who cannot resist the urge to break into spontaneous lectures on street corners who cannot resist the following observations:
• The Declaration of Independence is a work of genius that was written for a specific purpose; to present the King of England of a list of grievances.
• Everyone has the perfect right to cite or paraphrase the declaration. Those with intellectual honesty will reference it.
• The Declaration of Independence was written in protest of a foreign dictator who was forcing his arbitrary and capricious will on the colonies. We have lived in a democracy. We, the people, are the government. Declaring independence from our government is equivalent to declaring independence from ourselves. (Sounds a bit paranoid to me.)
• The colonists were facing serious oppression; we get bent out of shape if we get a speeding ticket.
• The major challenges the colonists faced (such as having your home and everyone in it raped and plundered by foreign troops) are a bit different from our major challenges, such as recovering from a 1.2 Trillion dollar drop in aggregate demand and putting up with very annoying cable talk show hosts. But I suppose that rehashing the 230 year-old grievances with King George is an excellent detractor so people will not notice that you have not defined nor offered a coherent plan or solution to the major problems of our day.
• It has always been easier to attack the other guy’s plan then to develop a better plan.
May I propose an alternate plan.
• Since our economy has taken a major hit in aggregate demand and the government did not prepare for this downturn by keeping adequate reserves, the necessary and prudent strategy is to stimulate the economy by borrowing and contracting the following services that would likely have a positive net present value.
o Since education typically has a 17% public return on investment (better educated workers make more money on average thus pay more taxes), it makes sense to pay the unemployed to go to school to retread for future labor force needs.
o Since a major limitation for future business expansion is basic infrastructure, it makes sense to repair and expand roads, utilities etc.
o Since the largest systematic drain on our economy is paying for foreign energy, it makes sense to pay our private and academic sectors to develop new and better domestic energy sources.
o Since we have considerable stockpiles of public lands that do not have a positive rate of return, it makes sense to hire private industry to develop selected public lands for energy production, tourism, and transportation. Most of these projects will be operated in the future by private organizations under contract (e.g., lease or royalty agreements), thus creating a positive cash flow.
• As soon as the economy returns to normal levels, marginal tax rates will be slowly raised until an annual surplus is generated. This surplus will then be used to pay down the debt.

Posted by: DrS1 | September 29, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

To all anti-boneheads,
Rant on...

Socialism, if anybody still thinks it is a grand idea, worthy of a good old try, check out what is left of a collection of diverse peoples, most proud and self-sustaining, but now dead and gone, (Millions) murdered by a gang of coalition, minority, activists in the Soviet Bloc of countries after they objected to being taken to H*LL on earth by a communist regime determined to make Soviet Style Socialism appear to work, when WE all know it didn't, doesn't, and won't ever in a million years of evolution. So quit your *itchin' und complaining that US of America who, BTW do OWN this country, are screwing up your little pie-in-the-sky, incredible dream, that somehow things would be different and better if WE all just sat down, shut up, and let the Apostate Dethugmocrat Machinery bulldoze the rest of OUR golden prosperity machine into the black hole at the edge of the brink where the first 28,000,000 victims of that ever-optimistic Czar of Bi-Bi-Partisan Mayhem (you're going to love this) Joseph Robinette (this is a big ***king deal) Bite-me (your jobs are never coming back and/or getting any better in this life-time) Biden; and if you still think this is the kind of country that you would really love to have, take the rest of the stimulus money those pirates from Citcago-Land are sitting on and just go over there and see what a wonderful dent you can make in that wreckage of socialism gone Wright. Go ahead WE liberate you to go where ever you think this will work, just leave the Grand Old US of America alone. Once you've got socialism, there is no such thing as good or bad socialism there is just socialism and like the Great Society it sucks until there are no more people with enough money to sustain it.

...and if WE went the GOP's Way, WE would have leaders with a way coming in, lines at the DMV would be Way shorter, WE would actually be safer, and a bunch of cities around the USA would be able to afford to provide the services they owe their legitimate citizens. (Not to mention LEADERSHIP owed to US by the Promiser in Chief)

Americans for Excellence in Blogging

Posted by: RichNomore | September 29, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

DrS1, your post is the most sensible list of actionable solutions I've read in years. Ever consider running for office?

Posted by: damascuspride04 | September 30, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Hi Alex, am from xtranormal, we really like the video you did. We have a lot more characters & celebrities that are available for bloggers & journalist. Please get in touch with me bruno . langlais at xtranormal.com.

Thanks

Posted by: brunolanglais | September 30, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

RichNoMore ... do you know how to read? ... how to draw inferences from the writings of others? ... better yet, do you read your own writing? ... have you ever considered taking a course in writing so that you can understand how to organize your thoughts and stay focused? ... are you a smurf? ... I don't think I read a single entry that promoted socialism ... yet you seemed to infer that from the postings ... I hope your comments are used in some TV ad to show what we would be looking at if yous peoples ended up elected to our government ... geez ...

Posted by: goCubs | September 30, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Apostate Dethugmocrat Machinery "...?

RichNoMore, you're sounding, umm, somewhat demented.

Posted by: citizenw | October 4, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

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