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Republican Receives Harsh Reality Check from Jamie Raskin on U.S. History: “I Wrote a Paper”

Jamie Raskin Schools Republican With Brutal U.S. History Lesson

During a recent session, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) provided a historical context to counter Rep. Glenn Grothman’s (R-Wis.) comments about the term “republic” in the Pledge of Allegiance, offering a refresher on the topic.

Before GOP lawmakers proceeded with a bill aiming to incorporate a citizenship query into the U.S. census, Grothman referenced a segment of the pledge (“and to the Republic for which it stands”) and invoked a quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

“After our Constitution was ratified, he talked about giving us a republic, if we can keep it, and I think people should analyze those two little quotes and wonder why there were references to the republic in both of them,” Grothman remarked.

Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, admired Grothman’s observations on the pledge before revealing that he had written a paper on the subject in sixth grade.

He recounted that the pledge was crafted by Rev. Francis Bellamy, a “radical Baptist minister,” for the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Bellamy aimed to devise a flag salute that would foster unity in the Union, particularly between lingering displays of the Confederate battle flag in the South.

Jamie Raskin Schools House Republican

“And so he wanted to write a flag salute that would be unifying for the Union,” elucidated Raskin, highlighting Congress’s inclusion of “under God” in 1954. Raskin proceeded to share an anecdote about Franklin, describing him as a staunch advocate for immigration yet occasionally revealing anti-German sentiments in his writings.

Franklin once lent money to a friend who asserted that while repaying the principal was acceptable, paying interest went against their religious beliefs, Raskin narrated. Franklin astutely pointed out the discrepancy, emphasizing the convergence of principles and interests.

“Well look, here our principles and our interests converge, very much,” remarked Raskin. “The principles are set forth in the Constitution, which is we count everybody and everybody is part of the census, and everybody is part of the reapportionment process. It’s been like that since 1790.”

He cautioned against diluting the Constitution with what he termed a “silly election year proposal.” Raskin added, “But it’s also in our interest because, as my colleagues have said, this is a land that is built on immigration, except for the Native Americans that were already here and the people who were brought over as slaves. All of us are descendants of immigrants to this country.”

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