loyalty.jpgOur very damaged president views the world in terms of personal loyalty. Loyalty to the country, or anything greater, is beyond his understanding. The real criminals are the Republicans who go along with him, knowing that he is fundamentally weakening our civil institutions, the Constitution, and the separation of powers.–constituent’s facebook comment 8-14-2018 (lightly edited)

Sometimes our elections hinge on issues–principles, conflicting views, courses of action. On other occasions personalities and party loyalty dominate the campaign.

Substantially Issues:

  • Lincoln–a three way contest over the future of “the union.”
  • Wilson–good government
  • FDR–ending the depression

Johnson wasn’t particularly popular nor was Goldwater. Goldwater’s perceived extremism helped sink his prospects for election.

Substantially Personality:

  • Eisenhower–“I like Ike” (and the Korean War)
  • Reagan
  • Clinton-Trump

Wilson won in a three way race on a platform of good government. He claimed he owed no person or interest for his nomination and election. Initially successful, he was stymied by dogged partisan opposition in his second term. As with Obama, many of his good government reforms were overturned during the next administration.

Issues ought to be important; candidates who run on issues and make progress are more likely to be remembered favorably than those who run and win on personality.

Political Teams:

The concept of political teams (Team Reed, Team Tracy, Team Trump) is disturbing. Who represents us is more important than an athletic event. When so many votes in Congress reflect party lines, which party controls Congress can keep NY-23 in economic doldrums or lead to renewed prosperity.

Republican Platform

Reportedly, the 2016 Republican platform was influenced by Russians. Was there any debate; did anyone notice or care? If platforms are meaningless, so too are political parties.

Non Disclosure

Writing about his war time experience at Los Alamos, Richard Feynman explained the limits of censorship. He wrote that while the censors would not allow disclosure of the details of the work, one was free to write to one’s representative in Congress to express a political opinion or to complain that the place was mismanaged. Government employees at every level should not be required to sign agreements which limit their ability to express their views; it is the opposite of transparency.

Party Loyalty

I understand party loyalty when one party or the other stands for principles and policies that one supports, but not when partisans accept whatever their leader last said. Loyalty is harmful when issues of importance are neglected–corruption, lies, excessive secrecy, and incompetence are antithetical  to good government. For good government, our votes must be more than rubber stamps for one party or another.


About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in 2018, Campaigning, Congress, Constituents, Constitution, Political, Trump. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Loyalty

  1. josephurban says:

    I think that concepts like “nationalism” , “tribalism” and “religion” have been instrumental in keeping the human race from substantial progress in the sphere of human relations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. whungerford says:

    Nationalism may refer to “my country right or wrong,” tribalism to party loyalty; perhaps both should be decried. Is organized religion, which respects community with reverence, to be despised?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. josephurban says:

    Organized religion should not be despised. But we should recognize that much has been done , and continues to be done, in the name of organized religion which is detrimental to society. After all, isn’t organized religion, by its very nature, authoritarian? Doesn’t organized religion demand allegiance to a single authority figure? So, by its very nature is it not only undemocratic but also can accept no deviation from the authority?


  4. whungerford says:

    Organized religion certainly can be authoritarian, e.g. when believers subscribe to prescribed dogma, but it needn’t be. Nor need it demand allegiance nor be undemocratic.

    When Annis Ford Eastman (mother of Max and Crystal Eastman) was co-pastor with her husband James at The Park Church in Elmira ca. 1900, she reportedly (according to Max) moved the members from belief in the Trinity to Unitarianism with her persuasive personality. So much for dogma and authoritarianism.

    A Baptist minister spoke about the Christmas story at The Park Church a few years ago. He expressed some novel ideas, so I asked him about that. “Oh, he said, I am a very liberal Baptist.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. josephurban says:

    I claim that organized religion, by its very nature, is authoritarian for this simple reason. All religions claim some divine authority as the basis for its belief system. No major religion claims that the belief system arises from the people or common sense or democracy or even society’s needs. That means there is one authority, god. Some religions are more conservative and others more liberal, even within the main groups (Christianity, islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.). But they all claim to have the word of god as their main authority. I know of no major religion which does not claim god as the primary authority for its belief system, do you? That is why I consider them “authoritarian”. They derive their authority from a divine source, which cannot be challenged.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. whungerford says:

    I don’t wish to continue this discussion, but I would make a confession. When I lived in Detroit, a city of many churches, decades ago, I went to political meetings in churches, I played volleyball in a church gym, but I never concerned myself with how these institutions were funded. If I had it to do over, I would be more involved; these institutions are valuable and worthy of support.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. josephurban says:

    As fate would have it, I also lived in Detroit for a short time in the 1970s. I see your point that churches can be great social centers for people. Places for like minded people to meet and share. I just want all churches to stay completely out of politics. After all, they are tax exempt.

    Liked by 1 person

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