Consumer Correspondent 

Kenneth Cleaver

August 1, 2003

Governor Bill Owens

Office of the Governor

State Capitol

Denver, CO 80203-1792

Dear Governor Owens:

Your successful legislative initiative mandating the Pledge of Allegiance in all Colorado public schools has been derided by knee-jerk liberals as an attempt to enforce knee-jerk patriotism. As a knee-jerk intellectual, allow me to raise a few points to help you combat the knee-jerk cynics.

Critics must ask themselves: What's wrong with knee-jerk patriotism?

Was it not knee-jerk patriotism that routed the redcoats from our soil? Was it not knee-jerk patriotism that conscripted young men to the horror-infested trenches of the First World War? Is it not the knee-jerk patriots of today that keep our airwaves free from subversive female country acts and our library records open to Federal scrutiny?

If this is knee-jerk patriotism, then find me guilty.

Regarding whether or not the apparatus of the state can enforce the seemingly unenforceable ethos of patriotism, allow me to offer the following anecdote. As a young man, I was very skittish when it came to lady folk. My friends picked up on this and one day forcibly placed me in an establishment of a gentlemanly nature. (I think you can read between the lines here.) Let's just say that being forced to do things often yields its intended result. It sure did for me.

Keep up the good work.


Kenneth Cleaver

click here to view Gov. Owens' response


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