Playing the Right Like a Piano

This relates to our thoughts about how the "right" views
liberty...please don't go there LP. Nice comments about the left from
Lew...we can possibly use this.


Playing the Right Like a Piano

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. <mailto:lew@…>
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Why does the right seem so much stupider than the left? Maybe it's just
because I pay closer attention to the right, and know this movement so
much better, but it's forever falling for political gimmicks. By
comparison, the left seems generally more serious about politics and not
as easily sidetracked by battles over symbols of nothing.

The latest baloney distracting the right from serious engagement in
public affairs is the prospect that the Supreme Court may rule
negatively on the phrase "under God" in the pledge. For my part, I
wouldn't care if the entire pledge were scrapped. It has nothing
whatever to do with the history of America, and expresses no ideas that
are distinctly American.

Why anyone is willing to put his hand on his heart and liturgically
speak these words is beyond me. Maybe in the Soviet Union. Maybe in
Mao's China, or Hitler's Germany, when everyone is looking down the
barrel of a gun, but in the land of the free? Forget it.

The author of the pledge was socialist Francis Bellamy, who wrote it for
a boys' magazine to promote loyalty to the federal government, which he
and his friends hoped would socialize the American economy after
crushing the South's attempt to secede. Thus we were to swear allegiance
to "one nation, indivisible." Don't you dare think otherwise!

The first major supporter of the pledge was the National Education
Association, which favored its adoption in all public schools as a way
of punishing Southern rebels and cementing the loyalty of Northern

As for the "under God" line, it was inserted under Eisenhower as a sop
to working-class nationalists who believed that the major problem with
communism was its atheism (unlike the US state?). Thus did the US
represent God on earth and the Soviet Union the Devil. In short, the
phrase had nothing to do with affirming the Almighty but with shoring up
and deifying the state. Does it violate the separation of church and
state? Inasmuch as it identifies the state with the church, probably so.

Though the history of the pledge is well known, and it has no real roots
worth preserving, we can count on the American right to go nuts with
frenzy to preserve this oath, which no respectable, educated American
should be saying in the first place. Pledge allegiance to your
principles, your family, your faith, but don't be foolish enough to
pledge allegiance to a gang of thieves.

If the Supreme Court does rule against the "under God," there will be an
attempt to remove "In God We Trust" from the currency too, and we can
similarly count on the right to throw themselves into preserving the
fiat paper dollar as is, a currency that the founding generation would
have recognized as despotic trash. The right will entirely miss the
point, that the government is distracting us with the name if not the
reality of God, so we won't notice that its federal government has
debased and debauched the money.

Onward to another major issue currently distracting the dumb bunnies on
the right: the proposed amendment to the Constitution affirming that
marriage is defined as one man married to one woman. Maybe the entire
Webster's Dictionary should be made an amendment to the Constitution
too. It's not going to improve the vocabulary of anyone. It will either
be ignored or wrongly used. It will also give the gay lobby a huge boost
by reinforcing their sense of being a victimized minority fighting for
their supposed rights.

Congress, the President, and the Court ignore huge swaths of the
Constitution everyday. Look at the 10th amendment. It says that what
powers the federal government is not given, belong to the states or the
people. That didn't stop the federal government from usurping more and
more powers of the people and the states, to the point where now the
right entertains the possibility of putting marriage itself under
federal jurisdiction.

In a free society, marriage would be managed by the Church or other
private institutions, on a voluntary basis. Disputes would be handled by
private courts. Government would have no more to say about marriage than
it would any other contract or sacrament. What is really going on here
is that some political elites cooked up this cockamamie idea to permit
the American right to burn off energy so these people won't notice that
the Bush administration is bankrupting the country with its crazed
welfare schemes and murderous foreign wars.

There are so many issues that the right focuses on that have nothing
whatever to do with genuine reform: the pledge, the flag, flag burning,
constitutional amendments, federal judgeships, White House staffing
questions, silly school reforms, tax shifting capers, the treachery of
other nations for not supporting Bush's wars, and on and on.

These people are so busy with nonsense issues that they take no notice
of the fact that American liberty is slipping further away by the day.
Do they care? Or are they happy to live under tyranny so long as it
claims to rule in God's name and cracks anyone's skull who employs the
4th versus the 1st definition of marriage?

At the White House, they must laugh and laugh at the American right.
There's a name for these people - suckers - and Barnum government is
greatly appreciative of their role.

October 16, 2003

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail <mailto:lew@…> ]
is president of the Ludwig von Mises <> Institute
in Auburn, Alabama, and editor of
<> .

Copyright (c) 2003