‘John Q. Public’ Demands Recitation of the Pledge

In quite-possibly the strangest event in the 2008 presidential campaign so far, a heckler identifying himself as ‘John Q. Public’ interrupted Senator Barack Obama’s (D-IL) town-hall meeting in Berea, Ohio, with complaints that Obama had not had the audience recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The heckler, who has not been identified, carried a professional-grade SLR camera, apparently had press credentials, and was in the press area taking photographs throughout the remainder of the event.

Obama, a consummate presenter to be sure, responded to the interruption by inviting the man to lead the crowd in the Pledgewhich he did—and then thanking him afterward.

While ‘John Q. Public’ wasn’t nearly as obnoxious, pathetic, and immature as certain other hecklers/protesters have been in the past, this is definitely not the way to get your point across. Getting in people’s way, interrupting them, and being an all-around jerk will not win sympathizers to your side. Mr. ‘Public’s’ behavior is especially bizarre, since he wasn’t trying to make a point . . . he just, inexplicably, thought that this political rally should start with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Regardless, kudos to Senator Obama for handling the interruption in a classy, professional manner.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.