During his speech to the American Legion yesterday, Trump announced that, under his presidency, he plans to require public schools in the United States to teach “American pride and patriotism in America’s schools.”
‘We want young Americans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.’
In fact, of the 50 states and three territories (the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia), 81 percent already require schools to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance, although no student can be forced to recite the pledge under constitutional law. Whether or not a state’s public school systems can be required to lead students in the pledge has always been a matter left to state governments to decide.
These are some bold statements from a presidential nominee representing the party of “small government.”
Apparently, Trump feels this issue is of national importance. He reiterated several times the importance of requiring patriotism from American citizens.
‘We will stop apologizing for America, and we will start celebrating America. We will be united by our common culture, values and principles, becoming one American nation. One country, under one Constitution, saluting one American flag. And always saluting it.’
Considering the recent freak out over Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality against people of color that compelled him to refuse to stand for the National Anthem, patriotism means unquestioning support for symbols such as flags and songs with no expectation that our nation be held accountable for ensuring the rights of all Americans. As long as white, male, Christian, heterosexual men are not being oppressed by the government, protest is anti-American.
Indoctrinating children in this unwavering support of America is reminiscent, as Trump’s campaign has often been, to Nazi-era tactics such as Hitler Youth.
‘In the classroom and in the Hitler Youth, instruction aimed to produce race-conscious, obedient, self-sacrificing Germans who would be willing to die for Führer and Fatherland. […] German adolescents swore allegiance to Hitler and pledged to serve the nation and its leader as future soldiers.’
Combined with this Republican push for “patriotism” as a required lesson in public schools is also the RNC platform’s call for the Christian Bible to be taught as history in American schools, since “you can’t really fully understand the American form of government and society without some understanding of the Bible,” according to the Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. Indoctrinating children from an early age is just part of the Republican vision for America.
The country moves closer to the model of Hitler Youth with every Republican legislative victory, and Trump is an avid proponent.
For Trump’s full speech to the American Legion, see video below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube