Loyal Oppositionists – A Leadership Principle Requiring Focus and Explanation

ToolsThe last time I discussed being a loyal oppositionist, I am afraid people missed the point.  Apparently, the thought absorbed was that only a person could be a loyal oppositionist in politics, which is incorrect.  Thus, I am revisiting the principles of choosing to be a loyal oppositionist.

Loyal Oppositionists

It is less that you are an adversary and more that you are someone with an opinion that (although frightening to me) might in some way enrich my own. And if I raise myself to being a partner with you on this mutual journey of ours, and if I refuse to bow to the posture of being a frightened adversary as you intersect my journey with a journey different than my own, we can profoundly change what we would have otherwise both died wrestling over.”  ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

Webster defines “Loyal Opposition” as “a [person] whose opposition to the party in power is constructive, responsible, and bounded by loyalty to fundamental interests and principles.”  If we are ever in a position of power, we, the loyal oppositionists, stay mindful of our actions, responsible and accountable to those who supported us to power. We remain true to the organization’s fundamental principles, giving us the privilege to serve as a leader.

Lemmings 5Loyal Oppositionists never use violence to control the thoughts of others.  We refute ideas with more potent ideas.  We employ words, conviction, and confidence.  We love the freedom found under the “Rule of Law.”  We are constructive in our comments, truthful, and we research and report, even if it means we must improve our individual actions to meet our ideals.  Now, more than ever in American History, America needs loyal oppositionists to step forward, answer the call, and defend liberty against the tyranny thrust upon us.

You see, the point is that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”  ― Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

Principles of Loyal Oppositionists

Trust is earned, respect is given, and loyalty is demonstrated. Betrayal of any one of those is to lose all three.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

Thus, the first principle of loyal oppositionists is to adhere to and commit to understanding this basic equation.  Failure to know and live this basic equation means loss of leadership, wasted resources, and chaos.  Important to note, these principles come before being “constructive, responsible, and bounded.”

Exclamation MarkWhile not precisely a ranked principle, a person’s character is witnessed; they are not spoken, not listened to, observed, and judged by others.

You can easily judge a man’s character by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Like trust in a relationship, a person’s character is built upon mutual experiences, time, and consistent behavior.  Loyal Oppositionists understand the power and reputation inherent in a person’s character; they are slow to judge, quick to observe and create their own opinions about other people’s character.  Realizing that a person’s character is built, allow yourself and others time to get to know your character.Virtue

The following cannot be stressed enough:

Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice.” – Woodrow Wilson

Self-sacrifice is not equivalent or comparable to being a floor mat for everyone to walk on.  Self-Sacrifice is all about knowing the why and being a volunteer.  Not to the point of burn-out, and not to inflate an ego or anything other than an honest desire to render assistance to the best of one’s abilities.  Loyal oppositionists want to help!  Failing to understand this mental desire is the number one reason why loyal oppositionists lose positions, roles, and employment.  Leaders, do you know who to trust as a loyal oppositionist?  Do you know how to use a loyal oppositionist to advance ideas to solutions?

DetectiveConfucius makes a powerful statement here for loyal oppositionists and their leaders.

Base yourself in loyalty and trust. Don’t be companions with those who are not your moral equal. When you make a mistake, don’t hesitate to [admit and] correct it.”

How often has a team failed in competition because one team member has the moral integrity of a louse and the entire team suffers, without ever knowing why they keep losing?  Consider your favorite sports teams, how many make the news for acting without moral integrity, and you can answer the first question quickly and easily!  Doubt this fact, pick a team, any team, any sport, and job, and you will find the truth glaring at you.  Morality matters!

Leaders…  Never Forget

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” – Edward R. Murrow

Remove America, insert your company or branded organization, and you will find significant truth in the statement from Mr. Murrow.  Dissent is defined as concluding contrary to the majority, expressing an opinion different from prevailing opinions or an official position, or simply a disagreement.

cropped-bird-of-prey.jpgI was working in a call center for a prominent online adult educator, where I questioned the software being changed and the rollout of the new software system.  The software would not be finished and thoroughly user-friendly for an additional five years after the initial rollout.  I expressed my dismay at rolling out a partially completed product when time and energy should have been put into finishing the software before rolling it out for all the employees.  My director felt this was disloyal to the organization, trumped-up fallacious claims, and wanted to punish me for disloyalty.  I walked out of that job; I was not disloyal then, I am still not disloyal to the brand.  I am not loyal to that director or the supervisor who craved a promotion and signed off on my being punished on fallacious claims and charges.

Mr. Murrow’s point is extremely critical for leaders and followers to embrace.  Loyal opposition lives as long as leaders, and followers, agree to disagree.  In the middle of two extreme points, truth is found, solutions improve, and people are built.  Thus, loyal oppositionists’ value is the second point in an extreme to aid in changing perspectives and building a better product, service, country, or nation.

Knowledge Check!While killing loyal opposition is most visible in the political spectrum where partisan politicians cannot agree to disagree and work together, the problem with killing loyal oppositionists is everywhere.  From sports teams to board rooms, to political forums to every business, refusing loyal opposition has become the disease we are strangled with.  Some try to blame communication skills, others try to blame the “speed of business,” others will use one of a thousand other excuses, but as the axiom goes, “Excuses are like butt-holes, everyone has one, and they stink!”  Embrace your loyal oppositionists and allow them to help you!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

Election Fraud – Understanding Begets Opportunities for Change

Image - John Wayne QuoteA noted fact in American History, not favorable, but factual; in every election the dead will vote for the political left.  When the dead vote, this is fraud.  Fraud is generally defined in terms as, any wrongful or criminal deception, with intent, that results in financial or personal gain.  Logic relates that the dead, being dead, are not eligible to vote in an election; yet, somehow, the dead continue to vote.

To qualify for the legal term of fraud, there must be three conditions met, deception must occur, intent established, and someone gains personally or financially.  A friend asked, how is the dead voting fraudulent, meeting the three criteria for committing fraud?  First condition to meet fraud, a deceptive action is committed, completing the election ballot for someone else, or in someone else’s name is deceptive.  Second condition, intent; intent is established in criminal law by showing that first the defendant knows right from wrong, then can understand what they are doing is wrong, and both conditions can be met with circumstantial evidence.

For example, simply asking a person if they knew what they were doing when performing an action, and if that person can distinguish between right and wrong after the action has occurred, can easily establish intentions.  If a person has chosen previously between right and wrong, their intent can be used to reflect they still know right from wrong, barring any traumatic experience or injury to the head.  Again, intent is easily witnessable and provable.

Third and finally, personal gain or financial profit.  Essentially the Greeks gave us this piece of legal thinking by asking, Cui Bono and Cui ProdestCui Bono? is a rhetorical Latin legal phrase used to imply that whoever appears to have the most to gain from a crime is probably the culprit.  Cui Prodest? is a Latin term which means “who profits?”.  Generally used to raise a similar question as “Cui Bono,” and specifically to point out the fact that those who benefit from an event are likely to be responsible for causing that event.  Thus, since the Political Left, in America’s political system this is currently the Democrats and those who support leftist political ideology, are the only party to benefit from dead voting, it is easy to draw a conclusion that the political left is intentionally committing fraud in elections for personal gain.

Government Largess 2What is gained in committing election fraud; the gain is political power, favorable laws, a compliant media to fawn upon you, and personal gain.  My friend asked me how a politician gains financially by being elected.  I responded, how did Ex-President Bill Clinton in the year after leaving the White House, just making 57 speeches, earn $13.7 Million in speaking and writing fees?  One year, 57 different speeches, a little writing, and $13.7 Million USD just appeared.  This is but a single example of how politicians, and ex-politicians, turn momentary fame in the ballot box into lifelong Millions of dollars.

My friend was very specific, how do you tell who committed the fraud in elections?  Do you try to go to the source, as in who completed the ballot, or do you just lump the fraud together into one big case and hold those gaining from deception responsible?  I do not know how to answer this question and stated so.  In my small knowledge about the law, the answer to me, appears to lie in legal strategy played by a prosecutor; however, I could be very wrong.  What I do know, is that “those that gain, need to either hang together, or hang separately, but they need to hang!”

Here is the real problem with fraud of any kind, but especially election fraud, trust.  When those voting lose trust in the process to elect a candidate to a political office, regardless of politics, that trust is fickle.  Easily lost in seconds, never fully regained.  Worse, the taint of fraud cannot be expunged and all in that election are tainted equally, the winner and the loser.

Lady JusticeHowever, one of the legal issues facing the calls to clean up voter records and the fraud of dead people voting is the legal hairsplitting between intentional and unintentional fraud.  Unintentional fraud is also referred to as negligent misrepresentation.  If you, as a citizen concerned about election fraud are confused, it is okay, this is a lawyer’s bread and butter, and a logical person’s headache.

Several of the legal challenges made by politicians after an election have been thrown out of court or received judgments that the case has no proof of fraud, even though there are clear indications that a normal person can see of dead people voting and a dead person voting is fraudulent.  All based upon the problems of holding a group responsible for committing fraud, versus a single person.  Herein lies the problem.

A county in the United States has an election office.  That county’s election office holds the reigns on county elections, overseen by the state.  Under the US Constitution, State’s Rights have already caused a Civil War and as such remain a very testy issue in the Supreme Court.  The Federal Government, and other State Governments, cannot force, cajole, threaten, or coerce a state to clean up their voter rolls.  Thus, if the dead vote in an election, this is a State’s Rights issue, not a Federal Government issue.

2017 and 2018, President Trump made an honest attempt to ask, beg, and entice the individual states and counties to clean up their voter rolls.  Except, Corporate Media, Democrats, and some Republicans fought tooth and nail to squash President Trump’s efforts to have an honest and transparent election in 2020.  My friend asked me, how do you know the voter rolls need cleaned up?  Because during the run up to the 2020 election, I began receiving text messages from state’s I have not lived in for years or decades, asking me to vote for a specific candidate or platform.

LinkedIn ImageAs an independent voter, I generally never become entangled in the mess surrounding elections.  Yet, in 2020, not a day past without a text from Wisconsin, Ohio, Maine, Wyoming, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, or Arizona political action committees or the democratic party representatives contacting me to urge me to vote for a democratic candidate or democratic favored piece of legislation.  While I have not checked, I would not be surprised to see I had voted in every single previous state of residence, all because mail-in ballots were sent out and my records were still live and active on all those state rolls.  If I, as an independent voter received this harassment, I can only guess what it was like for those who had political party membership.

Still the courts, at the bequest of lawyers, refuse to call fraud, and judge a logical decision.  If a dead person votes, someone committed fraud.  Since the fraud always benefits one party over any other party, than that entire political party needs to be held accountable for perpetuating that fraud, encouraging fraud, and for benefiting from the fraud committed by operatives.  Election fraud does not happen only through dead voting.  There is vote harvesting, where operatives are expected to canvass neighborhoods to “help” those unable to get out to the polls to complete their ballots.  Except reality reflects a bunch of people sitting at tables filling out blank ballots.

We also have another interesting technique in committing fraud, hacked election machines.  Where technically the voter machine “glitches” and a republican vote becomes a democratic vote.  Except, these errors are not actually errors, but programmed methods for stealing an election in the United States.  Fraud and theft are pretty much the same crime, while the lawyers wet themselves from trying to separate these into two different crimes, the fact remains if John Smith votes Republican and all John’s votes are turned democrat through technical means, John’s voice has been stolen from him and this is basic theft.  Not a technical malfunction, pure and unadulterated theft.

Mail-in ballots in the run up to November 2020’s election was a big issue; why, because this is another excellent method for stealing ballots, negating a person’s voice, and perpetuating fraud.  Mail-in ballots in 2020 had problems being delivered to voters, being returned to the county timely, or at all in a couple of cases, and being handled in a manner that allowed a person’s voice to be marked according to their preferences.

President AdamsIn every county and state in America, ballot dumps occurred.  In the six states causing the most problems, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Nevada, we find the most egregious ballot dumps.  Pennsylvania had 90,000 votes dumped into counting in the early hours.  Where did these votes come from?  Why did more than 89,000 votes for Biden and a third-party candidate, when the regular population mix would have these vote totals much lower?

Finally, we have the real issue in correcting, auditing, and holding honest elections, money!  Holding an election is expensive; thus, a taxpayer would think that those counting the ballots would be considerate and do their jobs right the first time.  Except, this is not the case, and every day that passes without a certified election increases the costs of that election.  Add in court and legal fees, and the election costs skyrocket into deficit spending rapidly.  Yet, when fraud occurs because those in the county election offices actively work to muddy an election’s results, why are these people not required to pay for their political shenanigans?

Consider a simple example, a baker makes a mistake on a product, the costs involved in the first attempt are the bakers to absorb, not the customer who needs the product delivered.  A car mechanic cannot escape the costs and consequences if they make a mistake in diagnosing a problem, or if a newly repaired vehicle winds up causing an accident due to mechanical failure.  Yet, these election results, a product of the county election officials hired to perform an honest election, too often get certified and real harm is done to the taxpayers in that county, and the officials remain in comfortable jobs able to meddle in future elections to their greedy little hearts content.

The Duty of AmericansIs the problem clear regarding where the fraud occurs; because, at the end of the day election theft and fraud is a local government issue with national repercussions.  Due to a law that insists that every veteran applying for a city, county, state job gets interviewed; I interviewed with a county election office.  The interviewers all came in spouting, neigh on screaming, their political agendas, we had a well-used PETA coffee mug, coats with patches and marketing materials for democratic candidates and clauses, a parking lot full of leftist political stickers, and I was hoping to obtain a job I was overqualified for, but desperately needed.  The interview began with a hostile attitude towards me and I knew within 2-minutes that I was not going to win this job.  All due to my not declaring publicly my political leanings.  Diversity laws include diversity of thinking which empowers checks and balances in operation; yet local governments across the country have become silent mouthpieces for totalitarian government.

America, the 2020 election is a sham, a farse, a perfect example of how to steal a federal election, and every candidate is equally tainted from the fraud committed.  Fixing the election fraud will require local elections to demand a clean sweep of every single elected official and staff member in local government election offices.  A full and complete refusal to use technical means to handle elections in any way, shape, or form.  Plus, fraud laws need tightened with harsher consequences.  The 2020 election was stolen, and a usurper is set to fill the presidency, fraud in elections has reached the ultimate tipping point, and represents a breakdown of trustworthy government from the dog catcher to the President, taints every single elected official, and requires the citizens of America to reclaim the government and demand those parties responsible, including the corporate media, to be held accountable!

PatriotismIf the American Republic is to endure America must have fair, transparent, and trustworthy elections as the first and most basic building block of responsible government!

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.
All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/

Tiger Teams – A Potential Solution to VA Issues: An Open Letter to Secretary Wilkie

I-CareTo the Honorable Secretary Robert Wilkie
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington D.C.

Dear Sir,

For almost a decade, I have read and studied the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from the position of patient, employee, concerned citizen, and now as an organizational psychologist.  During this time, I have read many Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) investigation reports, and yearned to be of fundamental assistance in improving the VA.  I have an idea with potential for your consideration, “Tiger Teams.”

In the US Navy, we used “Tiger Teams” as “flying squads” of people, dedicated to a specific task, and able to complete work quickly.  The teams included parts people, technicians, specialists, and carried the authority of competence and dedication to quickly fixing whatever had gone wrong during an evolution, an inspection, or even in regular operation.  It is my belief that if your office employed a “Tiger Team” approach for speedy response, your job in fixing core problems the VA is experiencing would be easier.  Please allow me to explain.

Tiger TeamThe VA-OIG recently released a report regarding deficiencies in nursing care and management in the Community Living Center (CLC) at the Coatesville VA Medical Center, Pennsylvania.  The inspection team validated some complaints and were unable to validate all complaints because of poor complainant documentation.  Having a Tiger Team able to dispatch from your office, carrying your authority, would provide expert guidance in rectifying the situation, monitoring the CLC, and updating you with knowledge needed to answer the legislator’s questions regarding what is happening.  The VA-OIG found other issues in their investigation that were not covered under the scope of the investigation, leaving the VA-OIG in a difficult position.  Hence, another reason for a Tiger Team being created, to back stop and support the VA-OIG in correcting issues found outside their investigatory scope.

Fishbone DiagramFor a decade now, I have been reading how the VA-OIG makes recommendations, but where is the follow-up from the VA-OIG to determine if those recommendations are being followed and applied?  Too often there is no return and report feature built into the VA-OIG investigation, as these investigators just do not have the time.  Again, this is what a Tiger Team can be doing.  Taking action, training leaders, building a better VA, monitoring and reporting, building holistic solutions, and being an extension of your office on the front lines.  Essentially using the tools from your office to improve the operations locally, which builds trust between the patients and the care providers, building trust between the families and the VA, and delivering upon the Congressional mandate and VA Mission.

Another recent VA-OIG report also supports the need for a fast response Tiger Team.  Coordination of care and employee satisfaction concerns at the Community Living Center (CLC), Loch Raven VA Medical Center, in Baltimore, Maryland.  In geographic terms, this incident is in your backyard.  While the VA-OIG inspection was rather inconclusive, and recommendations were made, it appears some things are working in this CLC and other things are not working as well as they should.  By using a Tiger Team as a flying squad, intermittent and unannounced inspections by the Tiger Team can aid in discovering more than the VA-OIG could investigate, monitoring the situation, and reporting on progress made in improving performance.

As an employee, too often the director of HAS would claim, “That problem is too hard to fix because it requires too many people to come together and agree on the solution.”  Or, “The solution is feasible, but not worth the effort to implement because it would require coordination.”  Getting the doctors and nurses talking to and working with administration is a leadership role, providing support to leaders is one of the best tools a Tiger Team possesses one authority is delegated.  The Tiger Team presents the data, presents different potential solutions, and the aids the leadership locally in implementation.  As an employee I never found a problem in the VA that could not be resolved with a little attention, getting people to work together, and opening lines of communication.  Thus, I know the VA can be fixed.

Root Cause AnalysisThe Tiger Teams need to be led by an organizational psychologist possessing a Ph.D. and a personal stake in seeing the VA improve.  The organizational psychologist can build a team of like-minded people to be on the flying squad, and these team members should be subject matter experts in VA policies, procedures, and methods of operation, and should change from time to time.  I have met many people from the VA who not only possess the passion, but are endowed with the knowledge of how to help the VA, and I would see the VA succeed.  Yet, I am concerned that the VA is not changing, not growing, and not developing the processes and procedures needed to survive, and this is damaging the VA, which leads to wasted money and dead veterans.

Why not have a flying squad for each VISN, who can meet to benchmark, compare notes, and best practices.  Who work from home and visit the local offices in the VISN, reporting directly to your office with a copy to the VISN leadership.  Whose job is to build the Tiger teams needed to oversee, provide expert support, and practical analysis.  The idea is to help you gather real time data, improve implementation of VA-OIG recommendations, and meet the demands of Congress.  If a Tiger Team, with the functioning Flying Squad, can save one VA-OIG inspection in each VISN, by improving that VISN, medical center, CLC, etc. before it becomes a major problem on the sSix O’clock News, then the Tiger Teams have paid for themselves.

All veterans know of the Phoenix VA Medical Center debacle, where veterans died while waiting for appointments.  I fully believe that had the VA Secretary had a Tiger Team in place, the root causes of that incident would have triggered the necessary flags to save lives and avoid or mitigate the catastrophe.  Flying squads are the Tiger Team in action, and action should be the keyword for every member of the team.  The mission of the Tiger Team should be to find and fix root causes, repair trust, and implement change needed to improve VA operations at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the National Cemeteries.

The VBA is especially vulnerable, and in need of outside resources to support change.  Recently the VBA was involved in another scandal involving improper processing of claims for veterans in hospital over 21-days, resulting in millions of dollars either overpaid or underpaid to the veterans.  Training, managerial oversight, and proper performance of tasks was reportedly the excuse the VBA used, again, to shirk responsibility.  Tiger Teams can provide the support needed to monitor for, and encourage the adoption of, rectifying measures and VA-OIG recommendations, not just at the VBA, but across the full VA spectrum of operations.

Please, consider implementing Tiger Teams, from your office, assigned to a specific VISN, possessing the authority delegated to run the needed analysis, build support in local offices, and iron out the inefficiencies that keep killing veterans, wasting money, and creating problems.  I firmly believe the VA can be saved and improved, built to become more flexible, while at the same time delivering on the promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans.”

I-CareThank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Dave Salisbury
Veteran/Organizational Psychologist

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury

The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.

All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/