Party LoyaltyTuesday, August 16th, 2011
Author Tony De Maio
I had an interesting revelation the other day. I sent one of my liberal friends some humorous bumper stickers concerning the present administration. She fired back a rather hostile e-mail informing me that she was an Obama supporter, and I knew it.
I wrote back and told her that I used to send out Bush bumper stickers also, and that humor trumps politics in MY book. I thought about her mail, and it made quite an impression on me. It also explained a lot about liberals in general and her in particular.
If you are going to support a PERSON you must take on a “gangland” mentality, or “family loyalty”. No matter what the “gang” or “family” does, it must be supported and defended against outside “hostile” forces. You become a “team player”, and “support” the team. Consequently, if the person you support does something foolish, you must support him–and look foolish also. Furthermore, you are put in a position of “lying” and stating you believe the action/statement is “good”, when you may well believe it is foolish–or even evil. Humor directed against the person/gang is an “attack”, is not funny. It must be answered and the perpetrator punished.
On the other hand, if you support the person’s POLICIES, you may “pick and choose” which ones you support. Such behavior will not allow you to be accepted by the “gang” or “family” as you will be perceived as “disloyal”–you will not be considered a “team player“. On the other hand, you WILL be accepted by intelligent, thinking people who will perceive you as “honest” and independent.
When I voted, I voted for Bush. I did not vote for Bush because I supported him. I looked at the policies he espoused and looked at the policies Kerry/Gore espoused and thought, “I don’t agree with all his policies, but I’m closer to Bush than the other guy.” I simply assumed the folks on the “other side” had a similar approach.
When Bush pursued a policy with which I did not agree (e.g. immigration), I made it known I disagreed with him–as did many other people who voted for him. I cannot help but compare the two political parties with regard to such behavior.
I look at the “Obama supporters” and realize they are supporting OBAMA, and NOT necessarily his “policies”. (As a matter of fact, I find that many of Obama’s supporters have no idea what his “policies” are. I experienced the same situation with Bill Clinton.) People who do not “fall into line” with the thinking of the left are to be scorned and attacked–if possible, destroyed. As near as I can determine, this was the same mentality that supported Al Gore and John Kerry. I note the fate of Zel Miller, Lawrence Summers, and Joe Lieberman. These folks were staunch Democrats who did not “toe the party line” on certain issues and were essentially drummed out of the party. Arlen Specter abandoned the Republican Party and became a Democrat. He was promised he would retain his seniority. After making a comment that he hoped Colman would defeat Franken in the Minnesota senate race, he was immediately punished by being stripped of his seniority. Disloyalty must be punished, even at the cost of a broken promise.
On the other hand, I look at the Republican Party–which is composed of, among others, conservatives. I note that several party members expressed vigorous opposition to some of the party’s policies–immigration, budget deficits, no child left behind, Harriet Miers, Medicare drugs, Dubai Ports, etc. After the “fight” was over, it was business as usual. No one was “punished”.
I pointed this out to a (liberal) friend of mine. He didn’t believe it–though he had no response to my thesis. I then reminded him of the Clinton impeachment trial.
There were good reasons to impeach Bill Clinton and good reasons NOT to impeach him. If you wish, you take one side and I’ll take the other. Each side can be argued quite well. HOWEVER, it you look at the vote, you will find that 100% of the Democrats voted “not guilty” and the Republicans fragmented–some voting “aye” and others voting “nay” in both phases of the proceedings.
Now, I’m not in a position to state which Democrats voted their conscience and which ones voted their party loyalty, but you cannot tell me that NOT ONE of the Democrats believed he should be found guilty and voted otherwise.
He had to agree.
As I think about the situation, I become more and more pessimistic about the survival of our country. Clearly, that party that votes in a cohesive block is far more likely to prevail and achieve their agenda than a party where each member votes his conscience and perhaps votes against his own party. A party that enforces “party discipline” will be far more effective than a party which does not.
If one looks at the voting record of Congress over the past 40 years or so, one finds that in many cases, the Democrats vote as a block, and the Republicans fragment their vote and vote their conscience. (Of course, sometimes the Republicans also vote as a block.)
When one couples that party discipline with the fact that the party loyalty of the left is to a person and not to principles and/or policies, the overall situation become quite worrisome.
I cannot help but recall the old joke about Khrushchev giving a speech and saying how bad Stalin was. Someone in the crowd yelled, “You were there, why didn’t you speak out.” Khrushchev screamed, “Who said that?” Silence. He screamed again, “I said who said that?” Silence. He smiled and said, “NOW you know why I didn’t speak out.” I believe it may be proper to point out that Goebbels, Goring, and Himmler were all “team players”.