The New Silent Majority is waking up.
On June 17th, the St. Louis Park City Council voted 5-0 to get rid of the Pledge of Allegiance. On July 15th, just as the abolition was set to take effect, the Council voted 7-0 in a room crowded with American flags and red, white and blue signs, to bring the Pledge back. Outside a giant inflatable bald eagle kept watch.
It was an unlikely victory for patriotism in an implausible place.
St. Louis Park is a small Democrat city in Minnesota. Hillary Clinton beat Trump here 3-1. Rep. Ilhan Omar represents it in the House. The firm at the center of her tax and marriage scandal is based here.
Councilwoman Anne Mavity, who had called for the abolition of the pledge, insisted that the pledge didn’t reflect the city’s diverse values. As part of those diverse values, she had endorsed Rep. Omar.
“Omar,” Councilwoman Mavity had said, was a voice for an “unapologetic progressive agenda.”
Mavity never did apologize. But at least one member of the St. Louis Park City Council did.
“I’ve concluded that I made a mistake and I’m sorry and I’m asking for forgiveness,” Councilman Steve Hallifan conceded.
The Battle of the Pledge was won by a combination of committed local patriots, who came flying flags and eager to confront the councilmembers who had tried to sneak the issue past everyone by tying it together with a meeting time change and some other procedural minutiae, and by President Trump’s willingness to take on a local issue in a place most people outside Minnesota had never heard of
The City Council had wanted to never hear the Pledge again. Instead its members were forced to listen to patriots chanting it over and over again. Even as the Council attempted to begin its order of business, the Pledge was chanted by the audience accompanied by calls for the councilmembers to stand up.
When Councilwoman Margaret Rog claimed that the protests had endangered the “mental health” of our “wonderful staff”, an audience member shouted, “We pay your salaries.”
One by one, the members of the St. Louis Park City Council announced their surrender, some, like Mavity, Rog and Brausen, in a surly and combative manner, others, like Halifan, humbly.
An army of women, men and children, waving flags of all sizes, and dressed in red, white and blue, had descended on the St. Louis Park City Council. There was red, white and blue eye makeup and necklaces. A giant inflatable bald eagle wearing a banner, “Save the Pledge” wobbled back and forth on the grass. A convoy of red, white and blue jeeps flying flags delivered a petition from 3,000 people to the Council.
The pro-Pledge activists overwhelmed the St. Louis Park City Council by tapping into the protest toolbox so often used by wealthy lefty radicals, but so rarely employed by the country’s silent middle class. The protesters understood the value of symbolism and of disruption. They disrupted Council meetings with impromptu Pledge of Allegiance recitations. They brought children waving flags and veterans holding up Iwo Jima banners. There were Scouts in attendance and lots of American flag clothing.
They captured the narrative, seized the momentum, and won.
St. Louis Park City officials had insisted that all the trouble was caused by folks from out of town. Their position is that there are no Republicans, conservatives or patriots in St. Louis Park.
When Mayor Jake Spano met with Rep. Ilhan Omar, he told her that a Women for Trump rally in the city was mostly the work of outsiders meant to harass Omar in her own district.
But if the councilmembers really thought that the community backed them, why did they back down?
In her remarks, Rog claimed that it would be a shame if the upcoming election was dominated by the singular issue of where the candidates stood on the Pledge of Allegiance.
It wasn’t the outsiders that the councilmembers feared. They didn’t want their radical leftist agenda to be hijacked by an issue on which there was much opposition to their position and little support for it.
It was a tactical retreat.
The Democrats on the City Council had tested the mettle of their community and realized that it was not quite ready to toss away the Pledge of Allegiance, take a knee for the Anthem, and burn the flag.
The Left is LOUD. The Left is organized. The Left has financial support. The Left has a chokehold on the mass media. (With the exception of their primetime anchors even Fox News is getting squishy.) Americans are bombarded daily with Leftist ideology – it permeates television programs, movies, music, fashion – our entire culture is marinating in Leftism.
But Leftists are not a majority. Oh, they sure want you to believe they are, but most Americans disagree with their agenda. There are probably more conservatives in this country than Leftists (no citation, I just reached into my ass and pulled that out) but conservatives are unorganized, tend to be polite and respectful when others are talking and are usually busy working and doing family stuff. They also don’t want much from government. This allows Leftists to dominate the public sphere.
The Left has also invested a lot of time and effort into demonizing conservatives as racists and bigots. According to the Left, the “Party of Lincoln” is home to the KKK, white supremacy, and fascism. They even claim that the GOP is filled with antisemites!
Part of the problem is that for years the GOP was dominated by squishes – people who claimed to be conservatives but who were unwilling to articulate conservative ideas and to defend conservative principles.
In recent years both parties moved to the right for elections and moved to the left afterward. During election campaigns, the radical Leftist Democrats pretended to be moderates and moderate Republicans pretended to be conservatives. Neither side engaged in detailed policy debates, they let a few issues like abortion and gun control act as signifiers of ideology.
Disgruntled conservatives tried to get organized in 2009, forming the Tea Party. The Left went into full attack mode, labeling the Tea Party as the new KKK. The GOP establishment undermined the Tea Party and sat on their hands while the Obama misadministration used the IRS to obstruct the Tea Party’s efforts to organize.
Republican squishes like John McCain ran on conservative issues like immigration reform (“Build the dang wall”) and then either did nothing or voted against the very things they promised to support.
Then along came Donald J. Trump.
Donald Trump didn’t give us inspiring speeches. He didn’t persuade people to adopt a new ideology or propose radical new government programs like “Medicare for All.” The first thing Trump did was he listened. Then his message was “I hear you, and I will fight for you.” Trump affirmed traditional values and common sense ideas. And he was unabashedly patriotic.
Trump made himself the voice of the people. Not all people, just most of them.
People like you and me.
No wonder the Left despises him. In less than three years he has undone decades of their hard work.