From a discussion being held by The Poor Man Institute with a wingnut:
The loyalty “owed” a President, or any government official, or any policy of the same, by a private citizen, is this much loyalty: zero. Let me say that again: the loyalty I, or you, or anyone “owes” to someone in the government, or to some course of action they favor, is none whatsoever. To think otherwise, Teddy Roosevelt might comment, is “unpatriotic and servile”. Now, this is not to say you can’t give your loyalty to the President or his policies – it’s a free country, and you can do any non-treasonous thing you want with your loyalty – but that’s your decision, and nobody has to live with it but you (and all the people who suffer from the consequences of your stupid choice of loyalties, of course.) Personally, I think the President is a horrible fucking stupid cunt and his policies are for shit. Your results may vary. But if someone tells me that I “owe” it to the President or his crap policy to act like I don’t think that, well, that person can get in the big long line with WPE and the rest of folks who really desperately need to go fuck themselves.
But Democracy gets even worse. The President and the President’s policies owe me loyalty. The President and his policies are supposed to be working for the good of the country and her people. That’s how the loyalty flows. The President is required to act for my (ok, “our”) benefit; if he does not, the betrayal is his, and the sorts of things which you’d like to call “disloyalty” become duty. Does Gore’s speaking out against torture “undermine” the country? That’s a tricky position to hold if you oppose torture. Does it “undermine” the policy? I wish. No, it does this: it reminds the world that however fucked up our government is, it isn’t us, it doesn’t speak for us, and it can never, ever make us quiet down. And I do say God Bless America.