Red Skelton Explains the Pledge (and Divulges How We Will Lose Democracy)


In honor of Flag Day, I thought our readers might enjoy a video flashback to the man who is arguably America’s Crown Prince of Laughter, Red Skelton. I thought you would enjoy his unique approach to understanding not only the words to “The Pledge of Allegiance,” but the unique meaning of each phrase.

Little did I know it would also give us a “future history” lesson. On viewing this video gem, I discovered something no one could have predicted back at the time of the original broadcast in 1969. It’s an amazing “Back To The Future” moment: When he filmed this, Skelton had no way of knowing just how important and significant his words would be to those of us in the 21st Century.  But if you listen carefully:

  • You will see clearly that we are no longer the nation Red Skelton defines in the explanation of the Pledge.
  • You will hear evidence as to how our leaders have lost sight of their responsibilities and obligations to “We, the people” and turned public service into “self-service” for their own special interests… at our cost.
  • You will see what it is that “We, the people” have yielded in our indifference and complacency.
  • You will get a better understanding how we have come to where we are today.
  • You will get a better understanding of what it will take for us to take back our nation.

Here, now,  please enjoy this classic moment in TV History. Perhaps more importantly, please listen carefully to the history lesson presented. It’s all there in front of you and it should send chills down your spine.

Yes, there is the pledge of loyalty itself.  But did you catch the significance of his definitions? If not, play it again and listen for the following:

  • States – You will have a better  understanding as to the importance of “States Rights” and what has been lost.
  • Republic – Listen to his definition: A state in which soverign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people. And it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people…”
  • One Nation – “Meaning so blessed by God.” (Yes, Mr. President. Like it or not, we ARE a Christian Nation.)
  • With Liberty– Which is freedom. The right of power to live one’s own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation…

Regarding “Republic,” at least one generation has grown up in a political environment where the power of the people has been usurped by the politicians who now see political positions as their personal brass ring; one which gives them authorization to pursue their own personal agendas at the expense of their constituents. No longer does the power flow from us to them, as defined by Skelton. It is now they who dictate to us, and their decree is usually backed by lobbyists, not “We, The People.”

Ask yourself this simple question: If the power of the republic still flows “from the people to the leaders,  not from the leaders to the people,” would a trillion dollar plus stimulus bill have been shoved down our throats without time for us to examine it (as Barack Obama had promised during the campaign?). I think not.

Liberty?  To Skelton’s definition, I would add, “without fear of intimidation.” Ask voters who had to pass by New Black Panthers who stood in an intimidating fashion  at voting spots if they felt intimidated. And if President Obama gets his wish so that union members must make their vote available to the public, ask yourself if that doesn’t cause both intimidation AND fear of retaliation.

The time has come for each of us to re-think our responsibility to our children’s future and to the future of this country. We can’t do it if we rely on “the other guy ” to take a stand, Every one of us must be “the other guy.” I can’t think of a better day to consider the message Red Skelton has given us than today, Flag Day.

Gerry Ashley


7 Responses to Red Skelton Explains the Pledge (and Divulges How We Will Lose Democracy)

  1. The Center Square says:

    That was a great piece to see. I remember my Dad laughing his head off to Red Skelton in the 60s. Two comments…

    One, the notion of a “republic” has always been challenging for people to understand and . It does not mean that ‘we the people’ retain sovereignty. It means that sovereignty is vested in the officials we elect (but, that we have the unencumbered, fair and free right to elect them). In our republic, it cannot be said our government is stripping us of our sovereignty. It must be said that we are electing officials who fail to do our bidding.

    The fault is ours for sending the same dumbasses to Washington time after time. It’s pretty hard to identify instances where the people we elected did things radically differently than how they campaigned. We have been getting exactly the government we have asked for.

    Two, yes, we are Christian nation. But we have a steadfastly secular government. I think much angst arises from confusing the two. Personally, I have no problem with keeping religion strictly out of governmental venues.

    • Gerry Ashley says:


      Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Unfortunately, you did not leave youor name, so I am unable to personalize the salutation.

      While I agree with you that we reassign the power to those we elect (and then hope they represent our wishes), I beg to differ on your comment about how hard it is to find people who do things radically different than how they campaigned. Congress is rampant with examples. Pledges of tax cuts, new jobs, new legislation that never happens. It’s all there for those who wish to see.

      Actually, one need look no further than the White House for a classic example. Candidate Obama pledged that in an Obama administration, he would NEVER sign ANY legislation that wasn’t made available to the public on-line for a minimum of 5 days for us to examine. You can see the video of this on TouTube. Yet, the huge Crapulus bill – the LARGEST expenditure of money ever by a President – never saw the light of day. It didn’t even find its way into the hands of the Republican members in time for them to read it before voting on it. Even Democrats said they never got to read it, but it didn’t stop them from voting for it. Is that quality representation, especially now that we see the numbers? But your point is well taken. We DO get the officials we vote for. And far too often, we live to regret it, but are essentially powerless to do anything other than wait for the next election to come around.

      The prob;em I see on the horizen regarding Democracy (the crus of my concern in this rant), however, is one of absolute shame: Obama is choosing ACORN to run next year’s census, fully aware that they have been indicted (and have pled guilty) to voter registration fraud in a number of states. Yet he’s entrusting the crucial census which will go a long way to alligning political representation for the next 10 years. Why would anyone in his right mind entrust this to a group of thugs who use intimidation and civil disobedience as part of their accepted policies?

      Worse, ACORN is to be granted $3 BILLION dollars from the current stimulus package PLUS an additional $5 Billion in the NEXT package. Why does a group like ACORN need $8 Billion of our tax dollars? What accomplishments have they to show to justify this? Will they be in charge of voter registration for the mid-term elections too? Will they find some devious way to falsify or skew election results?

      This is where we run a large danger of losing our democracy. Between groups like ACORN who are APPOINTED by the President, and not elected along with his myriad of Czars who will dictate the new rules rather than going through the normal legislative process, We the people WILL have our power usurped by Presidential Appointees who carry the Predient’s personal agenda. That, sir or ma’am, is NOT how our Constitution was written, nor is it the way democracy was intended to be run.

      A lot of this is based on my assumptions about what will happen. But based on what President Obama has done so far, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch.

      Again, thank you for your comments. I do look forward to reading more on your blog, by the way.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Sorry, I neglected to respond to your second point (about religion).

      There’s a big difference between “being a Christian nation” and having a nation where religion is part of the government. Compare us (separation of church and state) Vs Iran, Sure they’ve got Ahmadinejad as their President, but he is really just a figurehead for the west to understand. Their real leaders are the mullahs.”

      What I find sad, quite frankly, are those people in this country who have a problem with a phrase like “Under God” in the Pledge. They are so afraid that means the Church is behind our government. It’s not. It’s merely a hat-tip to Christianity, which was one of the driving forces behind those who formed our government. Though there is the occasional overlap between Church and State (ex: wedding is performed in the church of your choice, but yet it has an enormous impact on your civilian status that can only be handled through the burocrasy of government (taxes, insurance etc.). There’s no perfect separation, but I do feel it’s important to keep a distance from the legislative end of things as much as possible.

  2. Bro says:

    I am not religious but it doesn’t bother me when I see references to God in public. The people who had a direct role in establishing America felt they did the good they did with divine assistance. So they’re saying something nice. They are not demanding everyone else pray like them.

    The harder people fight to remove any, all, each mere reference to God, the harder I side with those who fight to keep the references in. (The word God is meant to be generic, by the way, so God means whatever the heck it means to each reader of that phrase wherever it is written.) If you don’t believe in God in any way, IGNORE IT.

    I do believe that there are still parts of America, and you know who you are out there, who do insist on laws (e.g., anti-liquor and sodomy laws) that are an implementation of their religious beliefs. That is quite un-American.

    To me, it’s how we’re expected to tolerate displays of pr0n and noxious language and behaviour. We’re expected to either tolerate it, or leave.

    Well I’m tired of being the one who has to leave.

    So to the people who hate the word God spoken anywhere in their world, tolerate it, or leave.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      I would encourage you to stay, Bro. YOU are the one being tolerant. It’s the Anti-God fanatics who take their personal views and want to implement it rather than aknowledge that we are a country founded by Christians and that the church is part of our heritage. It is a fool who expects the world will change for his/her convenience.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must take my dog to the non-denominational dog park! LOL!

  3. Worthington says:

    Regarding stimulus packages and the economy, where do you get the best grocery deals (hot link removed)

  4. Gerry Ashley says:

    Sorry, Worthington, but we do not allow free advertising via “comments.” If you would like to advertise on Grand Rants, let us know how to contact you, and if you check out as legtimate, we can set something up in the traditional way. However, we do not allow unsolicited commercial links in our comments that are unrelated to the topic. Thank you.

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