Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions

THE TEN-TEAR OLD PUNK

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 18, 2009

Over the past couple of days, the blogosphere has been rife with commentary on 10-year old Will Phillips, the Arkansas boy who made national news by refusing to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance until homosexuals are afforded the “right” to marry members of the same sex. To Phillips, there can be no “liberty and justice for all” in a country where sexism and racism exist.

He has been called “brave” by the Left. He has been lauded by gay rights groups as “truly courageous.” He is described as “precocious” by the salivating media. He is a hero to those who continue to view the United States as a bastion of repression and discrimination. He has been praised as having the fortitude to “stand up for what he believes in” – and to the American Leftocracy, there is nothing nobler.

But is that really true?

Is “standing up for what you believe in” the be-all, end-all barometer of honor and integrity?

What if Little Will from Arkansas stood up for white supremacy? Would he still be praised?

The act of “standing up for what one believes in” is, in and of itself, meaningless if the values behind it are no good.

Without rehashing everything Phillips said – and without specifically getting into the same-sex marriage debate – there are three points to be made here.

First, for all of his precociousness and expanded vocabulary, little Will is an enormously foolish and naive child – and no one is bothering to clue him in. (Ironically, his childlike idealism is on par with most adult leftist thought, so he is probably being looked upon as a prodigy of sorts, or a future Democrat Senator). That “liberty and justice for all” is not absolute in America doesn’t mean the ideal is not worth saluting. The United States is not a perfect society; and because imperfect human beings comprise that society, there can never be absolute anything for all citizens. If, in Will’s World, that’s what it takes to be able to say the Pledge, no one will ever be able to say it.

Indeed, “liberty and justice for all” is what America aspires to. It is her ideal. It is what the flag (and the republic for which it stands) represents. It is what men and women have sacrificed their lives to preserve. It is what America has overwhelmingly been able to live up to – certainly far more than any other society the world has ever known. But because there exists a federal government, there will always be some encroachments on liberty – like taxes, for instance.

The irony here is that while young Will ridicules America for not being able to provide “liberty for all,” his leftist agenda undoubtedly means he supports bigger, more intrusive government. Surely, someone as bright, articulate and thesaurus-savvy as he knows that the larger the government gets, the less liberty we the people have, by definition.

It would have been interesting to hear the young leftist’s response to that.

Meanwhile, justice, while blind in theory, will never be perfect in this, or any other, society. We strive to balance the scales as best we can in the pursuit of justice, but it isn’t always possible. Think O.J. Simpson.

Waiting for these “perfections” to manifest themselves until such a time when young Will believes the Pledge has become worthy enough to come from his lips is both supremely arrogant and intellectually dishonest.

(But he sounds so smart, bless his heart!)

Second, little Will is an unadulterated narcissistic spoiled brat – not because of his views, which he is entitled to, but because of his wanton disrespect for authority. During the interview with CNN’s John Roberts, he was asked what he said to his teacher following the “grief” he received for refusing to stand for the Pledge.

Said the young Phillips:

I, eventually, very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice, said, “Ma’am, with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.”

Roberts, of course, giggled while the young scamp recounted his amusing encounter with the teacher. The boy’s Dad, who was sitting beside Will, put his head in his hands in playful embarrassment.

That this boy was not suspended for telling a teacher to “jump off a bridge” is bad enough. That his father was apparently unconcerned with such a blatant display of contempt for authority is even more disturbing. That his mother said she was proud of him is downright disgusting.

Perhaps someone ought to provide young Will with some pictures and accounts from societies where real oppression exists. Maybe someone ought to enlighten the young scholar as to the realities of slavery, ethnic cleansing and the denial of basic human rights that exist in abundance elsewhere in the world. Someone should probably explain to the young lawyer-wanna-be (that’s what he said he wants to be) that the United States has liberated more people than all other nations in the history of this planet combined.

Someone also ought to instill a bit of humility in this boy. I don’t care how many multi-syllabic words he can rattle off for the cameras, he is a bit too full of himself and too impressed with his own intelligence.

Couple that with his willful disregard of authority, and you’ve got a punk.

As God is my witness, if one my daughters stood up in class after deciding she did not want to sit through a showing of Al Gore’s mythological meterological romp, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and in the process told her teacher to “jump off a bridge,” I can assure you that punishment would be swift and severe.

That kind of insolence and disregard for authority is intolerable regardless of which side of ideological fence it comes from.

I guess it’s kind of “cute” coming from a liberal, but imagine for a moment if Will Phillips was a young conservative. The mainstream media would have split an artery. He’d have been crucified if he chose not to stand for the Pledge because of something Barack Obama did or said. (Of course, conservatives don’t think that way, but you get my point). Think of how the media lambasted Carrie Prejean when she stood up for traditional marriage.

Third, the Pledge of Allegiance does not dictate how someone should think on any given subject. It is not a pledge to conservatism. It is not a pledge to liberalism. It is a pledge to the nation that affords one to think as they so choose, regardless of their politics. Someone ought to remind the boy that the flag he has decided to shun honors everyone who gave up their lives for this country so that he might live free.

That he chooses to forego proclaiming his allegiance to his own country until it adheres to his view of how it should be is the very definition of narcissism.

I don’t support Barack Obama or his initiatives toward socialism, but I still pledge my allegiance to this nation.

I don’t believe Little Will should be made to say the Pledge if he doesn’t wish to. I find it abhorrent that he wouldn’t, but one ought not force anyone to say it.

But he damn well should.

There are millions and millions of dead military men and women who have earned the right to be shown that respect.

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4 Responses to “THE TEN-TEAR OLD PUNK”

  1. morsec0de said

    “He’d have been crucified if he chose not to stand for the Pledge because of something Barack Obama did or said. ”

    Similarly to how you and the right-wing media is crucifying him?

    And if a student did refuse to stand up because they disagreed for whatever reason with the president, I’m sure the right-wingers would be lauding him much the same way left-wingers are lauding this student.

    As standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is not required for anything, I wouldn’t have a problem with any child for any reason refusing to stand and recite it. I might disagree, but that doesn’t take away the child’s right.

    • Andrew Roman said

      Thanks for the comment.

      Indeed, in a hypothetical world, if any pundits on the right would laud this (or any) child for not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance as a protest against Barack Obama, it would be disgraceful. I would be among the first to “crucify” him or her. The problem with that scenario is that such a thing would not happen – ever. It is inconceivable that a conservative would forego pledging his or her allegiance to the country because of a dislike for the President. It didn’t happen during Carter’s time in office, nor during Clinton’s. Conservatives understand that all Americans pledge their allegiance to the country, regardless of who is in power. In this regard, you are incorrect.

      Please understand that the Pledge of Allegiance is not a political statement. There is nothing “liberal” or “conservative” about pledging your allegiance to your home country. It is that home country, after all, that affords you the right to be as liberal or conservative as you wish. It is the republic for which the flag stands that allows you to speak out against war, or speak up for abortion, or protest any administration without the fear of government reprisal. That is the beauty of the Pledge – it makes no distinction as to which side of the political fence one needs to be on.

      I would think that is certainly worthy of a few moments of anyone’s time who treasures liberty.

      I assume that liberals (or most of them anyway) love their country as much as conservatives do. To that end, why wouldn’t one Pledge Allegiance to a country he or she loves? Does it only make sense to do so if you agree with the current administration? If it suits you? Is it only a “true” pledge if all the policies being enacted are to your liking?

      That is disgustingly narcisstic.

      I personally cannot stand anything this President is doing to the country, but I always pledge my allegiance to the United States.

      I agree that it should never be mandated for anyone to say the Pledge, but how does the fact that its not a requirement negate anything I’ve said? How does the fact that it is not a requirement make it any less important or relevant? When we see an eldery person struggling to open a door or carry a package, it isn’t required that we help them, but we do so because it’s the right thing to do. Saying “please” and “thank you” aren’t requirements either, but we do so because it is polite. Being kind to people in everyday life, even when one doesn’t feel like it, isn’t a requirement, but it makes life all the more pleasant. It isn’t required that we refrain from using profane language in front of our grandparents, but we don’t do it because it’s disrespectful. Standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance is a matter of respect – for the country that protects you, the people who died to defend that country, and those around you who do say the Pledge.

      Sometimes it’s okay not to think only of how we feel.

      And exactly what “right-wing” media is “crucifying” the boy? How do you define “crucify?” Pointed disagreement? Passionate analysis? Detailed point-by-point breakdowns of his explaination as to why he is not standing for the Pledge? These are hardly personal attacks. To strongly disagree or criticize him for making such a controversial assertion, and taking such a controversial stand about a hot-button topic such as “same-sex marriage,” is not unreasonable. Yes, his decision to not stand for the Pledge because of what conservatives deem as his misguided view on “liberty and justice for all” is being roundly criticized and analyzed, but so what? Where is the “crucifixion?”

      The fact that I called him a “punk” is not an unfounded, personal attack – like the Left is wont to do with conservatives when they have no substantive rebuttals for sound arguments. The boy is a “punk” because he behaved as one. Period. He has no respect for authority, thanks largely, I would assume, to his weak-minded parents. It is not a “crucifixion” for anyone to take him to task for telling a teacher to go jump off a bridge. Isn’t that the same as saying, “Go kill yourself?” or “Drop Dead?” or “Get Lost?” Is it not acceptable on any level for a student to speak to a teacher this way. This child should have been suspended.

      That, too, is not a right/left issue. It’s a values issue – and in this context, this child’s values stink.

      Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

      Andrew Roman

  2. landjforall said

    Will,

    Your right not not recite the Pledge is enshrined, not just in the First Amendment, but in the Supreme Court ruling West Virginia v. Barnette. I encourage you to cite this ruling in addition to your first amendment rights when you state your right to not stand. You go, Little Dude!

    • Andrew Roman said

      “You go, Little Dude?”

      Why is not standing up for the Pledge something that inspires fist-pumping from you? Why is that a good thing, worthy of a cheer?

      No one is talking about the legality of having to say it. That isn’t the point. Citing Supreme Court rulings is irrelevant.

      This country affords one to believe whatever the wany without fear of government backlash. We all have the freedoms to stand up for anything we choose, including same-sex marriage. The Pledge is politic-neutral. It is respectful to pledge one’s allegiance to the country that allows one to speak up against any policy decisions.

      Why is that so hard to understand?

      The question is: Why wouldn’t one want to pledge their allegiance to a country that affords him the freedom to go on CNN and speak up as he did? Considering how many places in the world unadulterated free speech is not tolerated – including the free countries of Europe – I would think little Will would want to pledge his allegiance to this country, even if he does have policy disagreements, wouldn’t you?

      “You go, Little Dude?”

      Andrew Roman

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