To The Editor:
I’m writing this letter in response to the Daily News article titled “Eight NYC Council members take part in Pledge protest” by Erin Durkin dated Wednesday September 28, 2016. We have seen a rash of celebrities use their notoriety to protest the United States by refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, the very symbol of our Republic and national unity.
While I find this behavior utterly disgusting, it is a legitimate exercise of the protesters’ First Amendment Rights. I hope that those of us who value respect for our Republic will exercise our collective right not to spend our money on the products produced or endorsed by these so-called protesters. This ability to express our displeasure with one’s behavior and ideology is a totally fair and free exercise of speech.
What’s not fair is when an elected official uses his or her notoriety and official title and office to degrade the citizens’ trust in and contract with government. When they openly demonize and disrespect the government they represent it brings into question their ability to carry out their oath of office. How can we be sure that the eight councilmembers, who refuse to pledge allegiance to our Republic, will faithfully discharge the duties of the office they have been elected to the best of their ability, fairly and impartially? I submit to your readers that those eight councilmembers are unfit to hold the office to which they have been elected. Those of us who have taken up arms in defense of our nation take seriously the oath to defend our Republic against all enemies both foreign and domestic.
I caution these elected officials to heed the words of President Theodore Roosevelt “There can be no divided allegiance here… for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality; we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.”
Our history has shown that positive change is best affected through legitimate redress of government in the courts, which provides reasoned, just, and incremental change over time, as opposed to the divisive disrespect and contempt for our Republic these eight councilmembers have displayed. I hope their constituents will do what’s best for our collective good and vote them out.
Marvin R. Jeffcoat,
SFC, USA (RET), Woodside