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.

NO MORE BS: Voting is a Privilege

Note: Today, we revisit a previous topic due to continued confusion about the difference between a right and a privilege.

Yes, the U.S. Constitution declares, no less than five times, that voting is a right.  Except, before the U.S. Constitution was written, voting was understood as a privilege that could be granted and withdrawn; thus, the U.S. Constitution’s insistence that the government listens to the citizenry through elections.  As a noun, Webster defines privilege as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.”  Voting is not a right as discussed and defined in the U.S. Bill of Rights, but rather as a privilege, as described above.  Under the U.S. Bill of Rights, the difference is critical; an act of government cannot remove those rights. In contrast, an act of government can remove the voting privilege, driving privilege, and marriage or business privileges, which they extend through licensure or other bureautic controls.

Fast forward to 2020, and through the actions of the uncouth and the uneducated, as well as the agendas of conspiring men and women, and through the plasticization of words, we find a need to re-emphasize the difference between a right and a privilege.  A right is not granted or withdrawn by a government, originates in a higher power, and a right may be infringed but never removed from a person.  Rights include property, life, moral agency, and so forth.

A privilege is a government-granted opportunity.  For example, a driver’s license is a privilege.  There is a power (government) that dictates behavior (speed limits, where one can drive, and how to behave while driving).  All of these are enforced by government agents (police, highway patrol, etc.), which demand adherence to the privilege of driving and the social order that emanates from the proper and controlled exercise of that privilege.  Is the pattern clear?  A power greater than an individual extends an opportunity that can be withdrawn, based upon bending the individual’s rights (moral agency) to the dictates of an enforceable social order.

Elected Officials will eventually use the term “privilege” when describing being elected; this is correct, as we, the people, are the higher authority over government.  We have the privilege of electing you, or not electing you, to the office you currently hold.  Thus, the people are the government’s governing authority, not the elected politicians; this is also in the U.S. Constitution.  However, the government retains the ability to hold or not hold elections as a privilege for living in a democratic republic.

19 January 2020, an email was sent from the office of a Congressional Representative that was so plasticized in wording as to attempt to make reasonable and kind extending the privilege of voting to those who have sundered, through their own actions, their ability to exercise their privilege to vote.  Let us be clear; this is unacceptable!  When a person drinks too much, operates a vehicle, and obtains a legally set amount of charges for operating under the influence, that person’s driving privileges are revoked.  Society says this is a good thing as this person has declared they are a clear and present danger behind the wheel of an automobile and cannot control their moral agency.  The person losing their driving privileges exercised their moral agency (a right) to abuse their government-appointed privileges.

The same logic then patterns the problem with criminals and the privilege of voting.  These people have chosen to act (a right) and lost their privileges as a direct consequence.  If the convicted person had wanted full and unrestricted privileges, that person should not have broken society’s trust (laws).  I cannot make this argument any more precise, and politician advocacy for more votes from illegal aliens and convicted criminals is an egregious testament to their lack of substance as a politician.  Can you not win elections without the dead, criminals, and aliens voting for you?

When the privileges of convicted criminals come before the law-abiding citizenry, the politician is the problem, not the answer!  You, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D), are the problem in this scenario as you blatantly refuse to represent all your constituents.  Your conspiring is emboldening the enemies of America, to the detriment of law and order, which is the sole reason you were elected.  Through the election process, we hired you to protect law and order, representing all your constituents in matters that we cannot ourselves exercise.

You, Elected Officials, have been, and while privileged to hold your office, remain being measured, and you are found wanting!  Proof of this can be found in the email sent, received, and copied below!

From: Representative Debra Haaland <NM01DH.Outreach@mail.house.gov>
To:
Date: Jan 19, 2020, 11:05 AM
Subject: Voting is a Right
Mailed-by: mail.house.gov
Signed-by: mail.house.gov
Security: Standard encryption (TLS) Learn more

19 January 2020

Dear Mr. Salisbury,

Tomorrow we celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although he was assassinated more than fifty years ago, his legacy stays with us through organizations fighting racism, like Black Lives Matter, and in Congress as we work towards a more just criminal justice system, worker rights, and equal access to the ballot box.

Throughout his life, Martin Luther King, Jr., fought for equality, justice, and the fundamental democratic right to vote. Systemic discrimination in the criminal justice system leads to a present-day [sic] threat to Dr. King’s fight for the right to vote. Today there are people who served their sentences and are expected to integrate back into society, but are being refused the right to vote.

States across the country, including New Mexico, have restored the right to vote for all free citizens, but other states institute a lifelong ban on voting. House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Nadler introduced H.R. 196, the Democracy Restoration Act, to restore the right to vote to those who have served their debt to society.

Thank you so much for letting me know your thoughts on this important issue. It helps me serve as your representative.

Sincerely,
[Auto Pen Signature]
Member of Congress

P.S. 2020 is a Census year and we have a responsibility to our communities to make sure everyone is counted. Starting on 12 March, you can respond to the Census by phone, online, paper, or in person. It is safe, easy, and critical. My staff in Albuquerque will be available to help if you have any questions. The Census Bureau also needs hundreds of part-time employees to help with this task and can accommodate full-time workers who would like the extra income.You can learn more on the Census website here.

As an independent voter, I hold myself, and those claiming to represent me, to the same high standards of logic, behavior, and action.  When I fall short, I have consequences.  I firmly believe that when elected officials fail to represent their entire district, they also should have direct consequences, up to and including judicial actions that hold them financially liable for abusing the trust the people placed upon them.  America used to hold her politicians to a higher standard of behavior because these elected officials represent more than just themselves.

Where did the power to hold elected officials derive?

Education, social norms, and a single “Rule of Law” as granted by the U.S. Constitution.  But, when the liberals and leftists took over the government-mandated classroom (1960), the dumbing down of Americans began to the detriment of the citizens and the power of the government elected and unelected officials.  The changes to the legal definitions of property started as early as 1930, and by 1943 Charles Reich was writing about how lost America had become.  Hence, the path to holding these elected and unelected officials of government responsible is reversing the dumbing down of America.  We, the citizens, need to educate ourselves, then teach others, so we can then begin to learn more perfectly.  As we gain knowledge, separating the plastic words and intentions, we can discern who to vote for, and blessed change will occur!

© 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.  The author has no claim upon the quoted materials.