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Human Events Magazine has reported that the top 100 American
corporations were nearly unanimous in rejecting the suggestion, made by
Ralph Nader, that they “establish a regular practice, at every annual
shareholders meeting, of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the
American Flag.” Only one of the 100 corporations actually accepted the
suggestion — Ohio-based Federated Department Stores Incorporated.

Human Events reports that “many other corporations either brushed off
Nader’s request, or blasted him for making it.” Caterpillar Corporation
said that “a symbolic, once-a-year gesture would not be a productive use
of time at our stockholders meeting.” Boeing said that “it is not the
opinion of the Board that it is necessary to institute the practice you
propose.” And on we could go down the list of evasive, condescending,
and simply dismissive responses.

To show you what a naïve person I am, I would have assumed that
meetings
like this began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Lots of meetings that I
go to begin with the pledge, as a standard thing that Americans do when
they gather together to take counsel or act in common. But apparently
in the American corporate world it is now considered passe to be
patriotic. They are “international,” and “citizens of the world.”

We would be unwise to overlook the serious implications of this
dissolution of national allegiance, so deftly revealed by Nader’s letter
to the corporations. Issues such as Most Favored Nation status for
China, GATT and the World Trade Organization, the “Fast Track” question,
all can be analyzed to reveal an ongoing surrender of our national
sovereignty, and very real harm that is being done to America, our
people and our role in the world. And increasingly we wonder why our
federal government is pursuing these policies, and why the Republicans
are going along.

Part of the answer is clear. The sectors of the corporate world that
are
openly without national allegiance of any kind participate in our
national political process without identifying with the Republic or its
people. And the money deployed by such corporations in pursuit of their
international economic benefit can quite effectively entangle
politicians in precisely this culture of independence from any national
allegiance.

This danger is one of the reasons that the best thing we could do to
clean up campaigns and campaign finance would be to make sure that
nobody who doesn’t have a ballot vote has a dollar vote. We should
exclude all corporations, unions, and other organizations from making
financial contributions in the political sector. Only individuals who
are allowed to vote should be allowed to contribute. This would at
least begin to alleviate the detrimental influence of that part of the
corporate sector which no longer feels that it is part of America.

We also need to keep our attention focused on the true source of the
challenges to American interests and sovereignty. The U.N. and the
whole internationalist movement in both commerce and politics are
dangerous to us entirely because of the allegiance-less elements in our
own domestic community. Our home grown internationalists use the U.N.
as an arena in which they can advance their agenda at the national
expense.

We shouldn’t be distracted into thinking that American sovereignty
and
bedrock principles of self-government are under attack chiefly from the
U.N., and that we should therefore direct our resistance first toward
the clerks and bureaucrats in that feckless and incompetent body. It is
true that the U.N. is a hive of socialist, secular, interventionist
bureaucrats and that — insofar as it is capable of doing anything –
what
it does can be a real threat to American sovereignty and liberty. But
if we focus the attention of American patriotism and conservatism on the
U.N., we will be acting like a general who deploys all his troops to
defend against a small enemy force, while ignoring the fact that his own
soldiers are turning over their big guns to that enemy.

The U.N. can pose no problem to this country unless people in this
country enable it to do so. The danger we face is not from the U.N. as
such, but from Bill Clinton who is artfully managing our national
surrender to the U.N., from allegiance-less corporations who are pushing
our politicians to surrender our sovereignty to international
organizations, and from the politicians who vote for the bills that
surrender that sovereignty.

If we spend our time attacking the United Nations while these truly
damaging surrenders are carried out by our own people, we may get
emotional satisfaction out of the drama of a foreign enemy, but we will
end up more surely losing our liberty. So we should concentrate on the
ones who are shooting us with the real bullets of national surrender,
because international organizations don’t have any power that we don’t
give them. Without ongoing infusions of the life-blood of American
sovereignty and power the United Nations can never be more than a
scare-crow stageshow.

The goal should be to stop our own government from giving away
American
power. Anything else is a distraction that will keep us busy while the
real issues are being decided in such a way that the internationalist
agenda triumphs.

The great temptation is to believe that we are being threatened from
outside the United States. But our problem is not bad people somewhere
‘out there’ trying to get us; our problem, right now, is us. Our
problem is with our own fading grasp of our heritage of liberty, our own
fading devotion to our national principles, our own increasingly
incompetent job of educating our young in that heritage and those
principles, and our own willingness to tolerate leaders who are corrupt
and without allegiance to our national identity. When we tolerate such
leaders, they use the United Nations to get around us, and to get around
our legislative process and politics, so that they can pursue their
agenda. But the danger is clearly in that leadership and in our
willingness to accept it.

Paradoxically, conservatives concerned about the loss of American
sovereignty shouldn’t worry so much about the United Nations. We should
spend our time opposing the national seduction of liberty being
conducted by Bill Clinton and his rule by executive order. We should
openly condemn American corporate leaders who put the bottom line ahead
of their allegiance to the Republic and to the principles of justice
which their fathers died to re-establish in Europe. If we can manage to
remember how to govern ourselves, and why it matters, we will not find
it much of a challenge to govern the United Nations.

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