Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister and closest international confidant and ally of President Ronald Reagan, often referred to them as the “loyal opposition.” Of course, she was describing the members of her rival political party. Those were the good people who spent most of their day attacking her personally and her policies tirelessly. Was she likely a fan? Probably not.
Although her cabinet was not well regarded by the mostly wealthy men who opposed her from the liberal Labor Party, Thatcher knew that they remained, above all, “loyal” to their oath to England above their self-interest. The Crown ruled, just as it had done for centuries. Everyone agreed.
With March Madness approaching, we all take sides. Joe is a Purdue fan and Jill loves IU. OK. They must have their reasons. But what if Joe hates Jill for her transgression? And what if Jill works to punish Joe for his support of the Black & Gold? Take up arms! Buy profane T-shirts meant to offend! Cover the family wagon with bumper stickers, not in support of the home team, but in an attempt at bold affront to theirs! Jill will cheer for any team that is playing Purdue. Run them off the court! Joe feels the same, his hatred for all things Cream & Crimson fills his heart and the pages of his Facebook account.
So, what of the “loyalty” to our fine state and to our fellow Hoosiers? Could we temper our contempt by constraining it to those outings where our team is confronted with them on the field? Do we have to express our animus endlessly? Sure, wave the flag for the alma mater. Yet, is their abject destruction really to our benefit? Shared power disrupts corruption. Absolute power, well, we all know the rest.