You wouldn’t expect a lot of drama at a meeting of the Mitchell County Board of Supervisors in Iowa, but there was a kerfuffle earlier this month when a resident was given permission to say the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the meeting.
As soon as the Pledge began, Supervisor Stan Walk left the room, only to return after the ritual was over. Part of that was because, a week earlier, he voiced his concern over the legitimacy of the words “justice for all.” (He’s not alone. A lot of students who don’t say the Pledge in school do so to call attention to the fact that we don’t really have equal justice for everyone in this country.)
Walk, a veteran, also said he didn’t like that meetings were opening with the Pledge when the members of the board never voted on that. (Board Chair Steve Smolik defended his move by saying the meeting hadn’t “officially” started yet.)
The whole exchange was captured on video:
You can see after Stan Walk re-enters the room, County Attorney Mark Walk digs in to Smolik.
Mark Walk went further and accused Smolik of “playing games with the meeting,” which [resident Russ] Brandau disputed by saying that, “Our freedom is not a game.”
After nearly 30 seconds of silence, Mark Walk said such actions from Smolik would “tear the board apart, tear the community apart and tear the county apart.“
There’s no resolution on the issue yet, but that video ends with the lawyer and the resident arguing over whether the Pledge is controversial. Brandau claims that if it is, that the nation has a “heck of a big problem”… which shows you how little he understands about one of the more controversial rituals our country has ever tried to force upon people.
Which is to say: They should vote on the issue and they should vote to not say the Pledge at meetings. They don’t need to. It adds nothing of value. It’s a waste of time. And anyone who wants to say it can do so privately on their way to the meeting.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)