(Originally published, 3/17/2016)
On 1 Feb, 1916 Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, in a speech before the National Americanization Committee (an organization dedicated to the aculturalization of immigrants to the United States) accused German-Americans of “moral treason” by seeking to make their government representatives act in the interest of GERMANY over the interest of the United States. He characterized this behavior as a German/German-American “anti-American” alliance.
Isn’t it interesting that today, if a politician doesn’t pledge support for a certain foreign power, as indicative of the last GOP Debate, that they are criticized, and more often than not, not elected? There are even certain politicians who fly the flag of this foreign power in their office (for instance, Texas State Rep. Molly Suzanne White flies the flag of this foreign power in her office alongside the US Flag).
Roosevelt then said, “I appeal to all our citizens, no matter from what land their forefathers came, to keep this ever in mind, and to shun with scorn and contempt the sinister intriguers and mischiefmakers who would seek to divide them along lines of creed, or birthplace or of national origin.”
Of course, this foreign power didn’t exist in President Roosevelt’s day, but I wonder what President Roosevelt would think of the American Political process today… I suspect he would be disgusted at the “moral treason” being committed by American politicians who swear fealty to another nation. I wonder what he’d say to those politicians who fly the flag of another country besides the flag of the United States on their desks, in their offices, and in their minds. People talk about Ted Cruz’s (apparent) dual citizenship, but Cruz is but ONE politician in this country with loyalties to foreign powers. I wonder what he’d say to that?
OH, wait…we KNOW what he’d say because he’s said it; “We have room for but one flag, the American flag…and we have room for but one soul [sic] loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.”
To extend the argument against “two flags”, one has to question the loyalty to the United States of those politicians who take side pledges and are apparently more loyal to their party than they are to the country at large.
Is it a problem? I dunno, but there seems to be a fair amount of historical precedent for warning against divided loyalties.
If you’re a Christian the Bible speaks against serving two masters; “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt 6:24.
Sun Tzu warned against it in his seminal book, The Art of War; “…an effective warrior cannot serve two masters. Outside interference, even from an esteemed source, is a handicap. It creates confusion in purpose and pause in execution.” Sun Tzu was adamant about this and courageously blocked the supreme Emperor from meddling in military affairs.
Even Dr. Phil argues that “A marriage based on divided loyalties is doomed.”