WYFF4 reports that Sheriff Duane Lewis of Berkeley County, South Carolina announced that he does not believe one of his deputies engaged in any wrongdoing when that deputy asked a middle school student to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. Lewis stated that it was "not a police action," or any kind of discipline applied to the student, just a conversation that took place for less than a minute between the student and the deputy. Lewis was careful to add that it was just his "personal opinion" that the deputy had his heart in the right place, adding that "a lot of people have died for our freedom and for the freedom of that flag, and I don't think it's too much to ask that people stand up and recognize it." This incident came to light because the parent of the student complained to the Sheriff's Office, which probably reveals one source of the erosion of patriotism that our nation faces.
Amazing, isn't it, that we now live in a country which lacks confidence in itself to the point that a public official feels he has to walk on eggshells when he expresses his opinion that maybe, just maybe, students might want to respect the Flag? The soul-searching, the hand-wringing, the endless self-criticism has reached a level that would make Mao's Red Guard jealous--and in the deep-red state of South Carolina, no less.
The loss of patriotism in our society, particularly among the young, is an entropic force. Conservatives find themselves in a dilemma when considering how to overcome the inertia of this trend toward disloyalty, a trend which is a violation of the Fifth Commandment, given that nations are basically extended families (per Black's Law Dictionary). Conservatives bind themselves with the chains of the Constitution, while their opponents on the Left do not; worse, too many conservatives acquiesce to the Left's interpretation of that particular document, even though plenty of "illiberal" things were once deemed constitutional at the time they occurred. But then Franklin Delano Roosevelt threatened to "pack" the Supreme Court, and the rest is history.
The "law," as currently interpreted, says students can't be forced to say the Pledge. And the traditional "agents of socialization," such as the media and schools, have been compromised by the Left and offer no assistance in fostering patriotism in our youth.
There is the notion floating around the noosphere that if ten percent of the population fervently believes in a thing, it can "flip" a majority to eventually come to believe that thing. Maybe it's from Malcolm Gladwell--that guy shows up everywhere. Or was that 10,000 hours instead of ten percent? Anyway, if this is true, conservatives can find ways to generate a critical mass that restores patriotism as a virtue in our land, something the Romans called pietas.
One parting tip: a lot of hippie types seem to like the list of "198 methods of non-violent action" found online. There's no reason conservatives can't adapt some of these 198 tactics in service of their own goals--many of us still hold the careful, personal opinion that America is worth fighting for.