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: President Abraham Lincoln on Welfare

The following remains a critical point regarding the government.

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” – President Thomas Jefferson

Do we understand the principle President Jefferson is trying to convey?  Government actions can only injure.  Governments cannot build, cannot pick winners and losers, and cannot improve the human experience.  Governmental activities, taxes, fees, licenses, regulations, etc., are all designed to injure those governed.  Thus, the need for smaller governments to reduce the potential for injury among the citizenries.

“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. – Speech at Clinton, Illinois, September 8, 1854.” – Abraham Lincoln

Taking President Jefferson’s principle and President Lincoln’s conclusion together, we have reached the problem.  Since the government can only injure and forfeited trust and confidence of the citizens is at stake, we must discuss the principles upon which the Welfare State in America has ballooned.  Back in the late 1980s and through the 1990s, a common theme was found among politicians; there must be a work mandate for receiving government largesse through the Welfare Program.  Unfortunately, the work mandate was never fully adopted by all the states, and the fundamental principles that built the Welfare State were never addressed.

“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.” – President Abraham Lincoln

Yet, this is the exact purpose and goal of the Welfare State, to “permanently do for them what they should be doing for themselves.”  As the first fundamental principle in the Welfare State bureaucracy, we do not help citizens become free but chain them to live as slaves.

The second fundamental principle of the Welfare State is to replace god, gods, and God, with the government.

“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” – President Abraham Lincoln

By replacing god, gods, and God with the government, people can be taught to live miserably and never leave the Welfare Plantation, which supplies job security to those who administer welfare programs.  Hence, the Welfare State plantation is a jobs program for government employees, not a helping hand to lift the person to greater achievement. In the Welfare State, the only person greater than the recipient is the government’s bureaucratic gods.

President Abraham Lincoln makes two more connected points where the government’s largesse through the Welfare State bureaucracy and the American Citizen cross.

  • “If this country is ever demoralized, it will come from trying to live without work.”
  • “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.”

Work, the effort applied to a task, where time is traded for money, has redemptive qualities, and builds independence and initiative.  I have traveled through enough government housing projects to know that by not requiring work, the citizenry is demoralized, the people are miserable, and the result is generations of corrupted drones who will not act independently and do not understand the need for individual initiative.  Both of which were stolen from them for a “mess of pottage!”

President Trump was correct. Some people come to America just for Welfare Benefits because living on Welfare in America is better than working back home.

    • “If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.”
    • “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
    • “That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence built.”

In this instance, labor is the work performed where time is traded for money and the experience of performing work.  Yet, how often is work denigrated and derided by government employees, even as they show up to work at their jobs; too often.  How often is work lamented by Hollywood types who are trying to keep people on the Welfare Plantation; too often.  Why; because the second a person learns initiative and gains independence, that person will curse the time wasted living on the Welfare Plantation, be unsettled about politics, find a god, gods, or God different from government, and exercise their rights and freedoms under the US Constitution.

Government Largess 4In the Welfare State, America’s governmental largesse steals products from growers to give to those who, after the second generation on welfare, no longer understand work or can perform work.  America’s Welfare State is the envy of the lazy people the world over.  I have been bankrupted through decisions I thought were right at the time but were not good at all.  I tried to gain some temporary assistance through the welfare program and was ineligible because I made too much money the year before.

After spending three years rebuilding, I hit a snag.  I tried to apply for welfare again, only to be told that I do not qualify for welfare because I receive money for my disability from military service.  On both visits, the waiting area was full of non-English speaking single mothers with children.  A key point because continuing to have children increases welfare benefits.  One must conclude there must be a male person living in the home to help keep making welfare payments go higher.  Yet, every application has no spouse and no male person residing in residence.

Government Largess 2Hence, welfare leads to promiscuity, moral degradation, and lying.  As an operations manager, I had several hard-working people who hired on as day laborers; I asked them if they wanted to come on full time, and was refused because if these hard workers got a full-time position, their girlfriends’ welfare would be cut.  I was invited into these workers’ homes; their parents owned the home, three younger couples live in the house and the combined children.  Grandma gets welfare for latchkey kids; each mother receives welfare rent assistance, food assistance, clothing assistance, school assistance for themselves and their children, and WIC.  The amount of assistance for the same kids is received by four different people living in the same home.  The grandmother said she was trained on obtaining maximum assistance for welfare and has taught her friends and family how to milk the welfare system.

An isolated incident; not quite.  I have seen versions of this behavior practiced in a number of states, in multiple families, and every time it breaks my heart to see all this potential chained to the Welfare Plantation, but don’t forget the fraud.

President Abraham Lincoln makes two more critical points for consideration.

“You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.”

Yet, this is precisely what happens when government vilifies the wage payer to obtain votes.  Look to any election, and you will see rhetoric that vilifies wage payers, but even with all the vitriolic messaging, the wage earner never is raised up.  Remember the $15.00 minimum wage media frenzy, how many states who adopted the $15.00 minimum wage have the same or better employment; none!  Because at the heart of the minimum wage is a government injuring wage payers and interfering with the market.

“You cannot have the right to do what is wrong!”

If ever there was a need for a motto to be chiseled in the stones of every government-run housing development, this is the motto!  The Welfare State breeds dependence, which opens doors for time on a person’s hands.  Time on a person’s hands, who is already dissatisfied, depressed, and disillusioned, equates to violence, riots, looting, crime, drug and alcohol use and abuse, and worse.  All because a government allowed the “right” to commit crimes!

Where did the Welfare State begin?

The Summum Bonum of the roots of Welfare in the United States lies: in the following also from President Abraham Lincoln:

“The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation is the philosophy of government in the next.”

Why are the professors in college so important; because what they teach today becomes the people’s actions tomorrow.  Therein lies the problem; too many professors know this and continue to preach, teach, and expound upon principles anathema to America’s health, growth, and future.  The colleges get rich on government largesse, turning out the future, full of righteous indignation and no common sense.  Who then proceed to influence government policy, which is emotionally satisfying but ruinous and nonsensical.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God cannot retain it.” – President Abraham Lincoln

The professor teaching lies does not deserve the students’ admiration, the pay from the college, or the respect of position.

President Abraham Lincoln also provided the solution to the Welfare State:

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

In the current state, America is in, finding the “real facts” is made difficult because of the media, Big Tech, and Hollywood’s complicity and collaboration.  Yet, the truth remains, and the seekers for truth will find absolute truth.  America cannot continue to have the current Welfare State, nor can America long survive having citizens and immigrants, including illegal immigrants, draining the Welfare State, vilifying the wage payers, and causing destruction at the slightest whim or fancy.  Work is an eternal principle that must be re-enthroned as the method and means of qualifying for government assistance.

Government LargessBetter still, return the powers of helping people to religions and non-profit organizations.  Thus, releasing the government from stealing from farmers, illegally and immorally regulating prices, and interfering with the market as injuries to the productive class of citizens to benefit the few who refuse to work.

© 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.