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The Perils of Being the Earnest Intern

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Byron Thomas was just another anonymous Senate intern until his co-workers started making fun of his earnest plea that they all show the American flag more respect and recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day. "Now I've only been here for 8 days but I can tell that something is wrong, (in my opinion)," Thomas, an intern for Sen. Tim Scott, wrote in an email to colleagues. "We have American flags in front of every room, but I’ve never seen anyone take the time to proudly say the Pledge of Allegiance." The email got forwarded around. Someone sent it to the Huffington PostGawker found his Facebook and Twitter accounts, plus an old interview in which he expresses his love of the Confederate flag. Now, Thomas is famous.

Now, I would love to say the pledge with the different offices before 9am (because that’s when I start work). All I want is for our generation to show that we’re united and that we’re going to stand together. We’ll always be One Nation, Under God. I hope you’ll see my words as kind and respectful because I’m truly not attacking anybody. I just truly care about this country and I want to work with everybody. Overwhelm People with Kindness and May God Bless the United States of America.

We can see where Thomas went astray. His email is the product of many conflicting pressures put on ambitious interns. How do you prove that you're a go-getter and love serving your country when you also have no power at all? Like, you might not yet be trusted to get the senator's coffee?

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