“Loyalty to the country always, loyalty to the government when it deserves it.” Mark Twain
SEL Connection: Loyalty is near and dear to students’ hearts because it connects to parents, teachers, coaches and friends, and even a school. Loyalties overlap and change constantly, which causes conflict. A football player’s loyalty to the team may change when he’s pressured to join his friends at a party the night before the big game. Or a student’s loyalty to help a friend work through a personal problem might convince him that skipping class is the right move. Deciding exactly when and how we should change our loyalties is not easy.
(1) Claim: To Twain, loyalty to country is the highest priority and must never change. Loyalty to government is a different matter. If you don’t feel like the government deserves your loyalty, then don’t give it.
(2) Counterclaim: But if all people ignored the government when they felt it wasn’t deserving, the government couldn’t function because people have different opinions. This is no way to run a society. Never change your loyalty to your government, even when it does things that you disagree with.
(3) Essential Question: Is changing your loyalty ever the right thing to do?