You could say that right now we’re surrounded by disloyalty, or at the very least, claims of it.
Many on the Left remind us that by supporting President Trump on any policy or action, we’re being disloyal to the American way. On the flip side, individuals residing in MAGA nation often declare allegiance to their man regardless of what he says or does.
Of course, Leftists assume that agreement with anything that seems to oppose their worldview is automatically against the greater good. Thankfully, their leanings are not a litmus test for whether one is on the right side of history or not, though they would suggest otherwise.
This leaves us with the current president and his band of supporters. Naturally, when one party wins the White House, most of its disciples will cling to the man in charge and pledge to follow him as figurehead and uniter. This is fine, to a point. However, it can quickly become dangerous as one sifts the worth of something through the man alone and whether his reaction is rejection or acceptance. This is starry-eyed idol-worship. Placing faith solely in a person instead of a set of ideals is always a losing strategy.
Earlier this week, I noticed a tweet by Mindy Finn, former VP candidate with Evan McMullin. Remember him? Evan broke onto the scene toward the end of the 2016 campaign season and promoted himself as the alternative candidate. A fair amount of disenchanted GOPers, frustrated with the party’s lauding of Donald Trump, decided to support McMullin in the end.
In the end, I went with another choice entirely; Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party. I don’t regret my decision. However, many who voted for McMullin now regret supporting him at the last moment. Since the election, Evan has shown himself to be anti-Trump in a way that suggests he could never praise any good that happens during this presidency. And that is eerily similar to Leftism.
Back to the tweet from Mindy Finn.
I may not see eye-to-eye with Finn and the man she partnered with during the campaign (and I also pay them little attention), but she is spot-on, at least here.
Loyalty to our nation does not rest on loyalty to its leader. That's an American principle that should continue to define and unite us.
— Mindy Finn (@mindyfinn) February 5, 2018
As you can imagine, sharing her statement on social media was met with plenty of backlash. This was solely based on her as a person and who she allied herself with during the campaign. And those reactions prove the very point she was trying to make.
A statement such as this one can be (and is) correct on its own merit. It matters not that the person issuing such an opinion may or may not be someone with whom I find common political ground.
We should never want our country worse off under any leader elected by its citizens. We should never want our nation to go through more turmoil just to stick it to the man in charge. When Barack Obama was in office, popular conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said: “I hope he fails.” This is the politics of nastiness in its purest form.
We can, and should, pledge loyalty to our nation and not its leaders. There is a constant shift in the men and women who have been elected to hold office in our nation’s capital. The people change, but our ideals should not.
During Obama’s tenure as president, we saw an unwavering devotion to him as a man over what was best for our nation as a whole. In the first year of Trump’s presidency, we have seen exactly the same from the Republican side. Since this adulation is attached to a man with a finite term, it is fleeting. Since it is based upon the whims of one individual, it is counterfeit.
Painting a broad brushstroke of “good” or “bad” across an entire presidency is misplaced loyalty. Those who idolize the man will believe everything is a positive, even when the opposite is true. Those who reject anything and everything are doing so for the man he is not, and that is just as much about blind loyalty to a person, or at least the idea of one.
Once upon a time, we pledged allegiance to a flag and the country it represented. The static truth of that oath remains a simple but necessary guide through these murky partisan times.