Wednesday, February 2, 2011


San Francisco's District Six Supervisor Jane Kim, a newly elected Board of Supervisors member is stirring up controversy because of her refusal to pledge allegiance to the American flag:

"I don't think our flag represents a nation where there's liberty and justice for all," argued Kim.

"And I reserve my right to disagree or to even protest when I think our government isn't representing the best of our ideals or principles."

For a private citizen, this is a non-issue - if you want to 'protest' that way, knock yourself out.  However, Kim is an elected official who represents the government of the United States, even in the limited capacity of the Board of Supervisors.  As such, it is distasteful in the extreme that she refused to pledge allegiance to the nation that she has been elected to serve.  The question inevitably arises that if you refuse to include yourself in the country, should you really be representing it and, more importantly, do you have the best interests of the nation at heart, or your own, or even someone else's?

There is no law that compels her to say the pledge, of course, but there is an expectation of it from government employees.  One wonders how the administration of the oath of office went - after all, she has to pledge to uphold the laws of the land, doesn't she?  Did she cross her fingers behind her back?  Or is she planning to continue in the liberal fashion and just ignore the things she doesn't agree with?

In the grand scheme of things, it is probably more notable that her conduct is causing controversy at all.  This is, after all, San Francisco we're talking about.  Honestly, isn't it more surprising that they actually say the pledge before beginning than that she refuses to participate?  It's nice to know there are a few people willing to admit they still consider themselves to be part of America there.  But, then, the city does boast it's own Bay Area Tea Party chapter, believe it or not, so all hope is not lost.  I'm still expecting the city to officially secede from the union any day now, a la the Conch Republic.

As for the possibility that Kim will change her behavior, don't hold your breath:
Kim said it's a personal decision of how to honor the flag and country.
  "How to honor the flag and country" - by snubbing it.  Talk about mental gymnastics.  At least she's not completely disrespectful - she does stand up for the pledge, even if she doesn't repeat it.  But still, one just sort of expects one's elected officials to at least like the country for whom they work.  Or am I out of line here?



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