The city of St. Louis Park, Minnesota has been at the center of a national firestorm ever since local officials voted 5-0 to drop the Pledge of Allegiance from the formal part of its meetings, citing a more diverse population as the reason to go without the ritual.
It was a sensible move since the phrasing in the Pledge, not to mention the idea of blindly pledging allegiance to this nation, comes with all kinds of problems.
But then, Donald Trump, always eager to inflame ignorant conservatives who think symbols of patriotism are more important than actual love of the country, stepped in and made everything worse. He called the decision an example of “stupidity” and “disloyalty,” offering no further explanation. A different FOX News contributor said those bothered by the Pledge would be “better off living in another country,” comments that the racist Trump has also latched upon.
You can imagine the sort of backlash the local officials had to deal with. Remember: This is a small town and the decision was intended to make citizens feel more comfortable at meetings. It wasn’t a vote they took in response to what Republicans are doing.And yet the hate from conservatives was overwhelming enough that the officials voted unanimously (7-0) Monday night to reinstate the Pledge at meetings.
The pledge was not scheduled to be discussed Monday night, but Council Member Thom Miller made a motion to reinstate it because the city has been inundated with e-mails and phone calls, some that Miller believed endangered city staff and residents.
“There are many from outside of St. Louis Park who are abusing and harassing our city staff, making it very difficult for them to serve the residents and businesses in our city, which is the very reason our local government exists,” he said at the meeting.
A short time later, council members voted 7-0 to reinstate the pledge.
Yay America… Conservatives threatened elected officials so much that they were forced to restore a ritual in the name of freedom. If anything, for residents of that city, the Pledge now symbolizes what happens when you dare to do something the GOP hates.
The city was right to get rid of the Pledge, but it’s also understandable why they restored it. It’s not because the Pledge is some great way to open meetings; it’s because Republicans are batshit crazy and giving them the Pledge is easier than trying to fight a principled battle against rage-driven MAGA cultists.
At least now they can get back to work. You know. Work. It’s the thing conservatives don’t give a damn about because they’re too busy having collective aneurysms over pseudo-symbols of patriotism.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)