What exactly are we to pledge our allegiance and affirm our loyalty to? Well our founding principles of, "service and citizenship; courage and the common good; liberty, equality, and justice for all." These are the words of the president in his proclamation made April 30, 2013.
Herein lies the danger of the hero worship and allegiance to "founding fathers" and "founding principles". It is the tendency to twist, distort and add to those "founding principles" that makes them particularly dangerous. Principles, to be useful for the people must be few and clear. To be useful to the expansion of the state, it is best that they are many, unclear and broadly interpretable. Compare for instance:
- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
- service and citizenship; courage and the common good; liberty, equality, and justice for all
The courage to do what? To follow the rules, to stand up, to recite a pledge without understanding and to fit in?
The common good? Defined by whom and to what ends?
Ask yourself also if the founders had held as core values "service and citizenship", would they have ever declared independence from the king?
What are we being asked to celebrate exactly?