Before there ever was
"The United States of America,"
we referred to ourselves originally as
Go back and read that last sentence again. And again. And again. What is the distinction here? What did our founders understand that we have either forgotten or had slowly usurped from us? Much to our current President's chagrin, it is that our Constitution - that binds the sovereign States together - is a set of negative liberties that does (and should) prevent the central government from getting too much power.
With all the talk about not reciting the Pledge because of references to God (which is an argument I won't address here), there is also something else we're missing out on there (emphasis and punctuation added):
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the united States of America
and to the Republic, for which it stands.
One nation, under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
There it is again! We are a Republic! I am a citizen of the Sovereign State of Utah, as are you (I'm assuming it's only my wife reading this blog anymore. Actually, no, she's got better things to do. Looks like it's just you and me, mystery reader from Albuquerque). We are bound by our common goals, united under a banner of common freedoms that we recognize as God-given. We strive together for our mutual benefit. "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
We are also kept separate by our common differences. The Constitution is not a suicide pact, no matter how much the current putrefaction in charge of "leading" us would have you believe. If the majority of the banking/auto industries, or, say, the State of California wants to run themselves into the ground, they are more than free to do so. This business of leaning on the Federal Government and usurping our power and resources is utterly ruining the whole country's economic and political ties. The best way for the central government to function is to protect us from our enemies (common military); to let the States govern themselves, and therefore be accountable to themselves; and to apply the Constitution if and/or when the States overstep their authority. It is not to fill the function of the State itself.
Where do we start to fix things? Peacefully. Our founders built into the Constitution a peaceful transition of power. For us, it starts this November. Don't be fooled by the party allegiances, Republican or Democrat, they all need to remember that they are public servants, not rulers. We should be electing leaders to represent us instead of electing representatives to lead us. Rise up! Pay attention to the nickel and dime usurpations of your sovereignty! Go, confront the problem, fight, win!