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Progressives have always been about dividing Americans into sub-groups for the purposes of political exploitation

NBC-ya Later

By --June 24, 2011

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It has now been revealed that NBC’s decision to leave out the words “under God” and “indivisible” from the Pledge of Allegiance in Sunday’s U.S. Open golf broadcast was no accident. On Tuesday, the network released this statement: “We are aware of the distress this has caused many of our viewers and are taking the issue very seriously.

Unfortunately, when producing the piece — which was intended to capitalize on the patriotism of having our national championship played in our nation’s capital — a decision was made by a small group of people to edit portions of the Pledge of Allegiance. This was a bad decision.” No, it was worse than that.

In a nation beset by so many big problems, one might be tempted to dismiss yet another assault by the termites of progressivism as small beer. Yet it’s precisely the kind of incrementalism in which one insult to the prevailing national ethos here, and another one there, slowly but surely — and inexorably — has led to the kind of attitude that prevails among far too many Americans.

What attitude is that? A contempt for anything which falls outside their worldview. Yet if that were the extent of progressive myopia, it would be annoying, but inconsequential. But it is not. Progressives are not content to live and let live. It takes a concerted effort to open up an audio file, cue up to the “offensive” language and snip it out. But it also takes a stratospheric level of obliviousness to one’s own arrogance to do so without contemplating the kind of blowback that is occurring. Part of that arrogance was likely animated by the thought that most Americans would be too stupid to notice.

Predictably, most people are focused on the omission of “under God,” which is understandable. Progressives have made no secret of their disdain for people of faith. Decades of derision, from attacks on Christmas creches to the latest insult — in which Federal District Judge Fred Biery ordered that the words “invocation” and “benediction” be removed from a Texas school’s graduation program, and forbade the use of words such as “amen,” “join in prayer,” and “bow their heads,” which would be “enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed” — have been ongoing and relentless.

Yet just as important is the omission of the word “indivisible.” Progressives have always been about dividing Americans into sub-groups for the purposes of political exploitation. Without playing the rich off the poor, the whites off the non-whites, women off men, etc. etc., they’re dead in the political water. An “indivisible” nation is as anathema to them as one in which a majority believes in a higher power. An indivisible nation has far less need for the “healing” ministrations of big government, just as people of faith have far less need for bureaucrats to micro-manage their lives “for their own good.”

NBC has said they will handle the matter internally, and IF disciplinary action is taken, it will not be made public. Why? The “small group of people” who made this decision obviously thought it was a good idea. Why not let the public show its “appreciation?” I’m sure there are plenty of Americans who would like to know how something which could have been left completely alone became a mini-project for those who were put in charge of a segment ostensibly created to celebrate patriotism. And even if NBC wants to shield them, why don’t some or all of these people step forward on their own? The “courage of one’s convictions” is a phrase which comes to mind in this regard. These people certainly had their convictions.

Do they have the courage to defend them?

I doubt it. Better to hide behind NBC’s corporate skirt and wait for the tempest to blow over. Better to wait for the inevitable defenders who will accuse people of being “small-minded” for being offended by something as “innocuous” as this. Already there is an article in the blogosphere entitled, “NBC Omits ‘Under God.’ Wingnuts Go Crazy.” No doubt there will be more defenders, all accusing the “wingnuts” of over-reacting.

For perspective’s sake it should be noted that Federal District Judge Fred Biery, who was thankfully overruled, based his decision banning any reference to prayer or religion at the Texas high school graduation on the idea that a single twelfth-grader among the graduating class would “suffer irreparable harm” if he had to listen to anyone praying during the ceremony. In other words, an eighteen year old exposed to any kind of religious expression would be permanently scarred.

So who, exactly, are the wingnuts?

Arnold Ahlert -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Arnold Ahlert was an op-ed columist with the NY Post for eight years.

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