Blind loyalty and Demagogues
The definition of loyalty is "the state of being loyal," or, to be more precise, "the faithfulness or devotion to some person, cause, or nation."
One of the characteristics necessary for the majority of human partnerships to succeed is loyalty. For instance, for a marriage to last, the husband and wife must be loyal to one another. In addition to inter-human connections, loyalty may also be shown for a cause or a country.
For instance, the majority of nations are guarded by their armed forces, whose members have pledged allegiance to the nations they protect and to defend them against any foe.
In a democracy, loyalty is crucial and may be demonstrated in politics as well. Loyalty is what gives political parties their start, what gives them strength and influence, and what also helps politicians win elections.
Yet when a person or group of citizens show blind allegiance to a leader or party without critically examining each of their actions, policies, or statements, it isn't just regular loyalty but blind loyalty.
The term "blind loyalty" refers to an unshakable and unthinking dedication or fidelity or devotion to a person, group, or organization without engaging in a critical assessment of their actions or views.
Blind loyalty is a sort of devotion that is based more on emotional attachment than on logical thought and can lead to people supporting or defending acts or ideas that may be harmful or unethical.
This form of devotion is risky because it inhibits people from seeing or noticing the shortcomings or bad qualities of the object of their allegiance and might encourage them to continue supporting it even in the face of opposing facts.
A lot happened during the just concluded Presidential and governorship election in my country(Nigeria), as many supported a candidate blindly not because of what the person might have achieved but because of what others made them believe about this candidate.
Many people hold their candidates in such high esteem that they treat them like gods. They won't let you criticize their candidate in any way.
Some fanatic members of one faction went so far as to physically intimidate and threaten people who they thought might oppose their candidate, while other factions used the internet, particularly Twitter, to spread untrue information about the other candidates. They also engaged in cyberbullying and also created a cancel culture against anyone, especially celebrities or organizations, who did not share their opinions or support their candidates.
Blind loyalty isn't just confined to a particular country or continent as it happens in almost all countries.
During the last US presidential election, many people supported their candidate based on blind loyalty and as a result, it led to an upheaval in the democratic process of the country.
It was blind loyalty that Donald Trump made use of while telling his supporters that the election was rigged and not fair and inciting them into a riot that made them occupy the capitol; something that has never happened in U.S history.
The whole world watched in shock and horror as the event unfold in a country that is said to be the champion of democracy and an example for others to follow.
Politicians make use of the vulnerability of the masses being misled most especially by fake news or using their emotions.
In recent years I have come to realize that the masses collectively are gullible and can be easily misled. These politicians employ a variety of strategies, including emotion, fake facts, or fake news, to convince their gullible supporters to believe all they say.
I was surprised to find that there is a word for those kinds of politicians and it is called: "Demagogue."
According to the Oxford Dictionary; "a Demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument."
The wiktionary dictionary defines it as: "A political orator or leader who gains favor by pandering to or exciting the passions and prejudices of the audience rather than using rational argument."
The dangers of blind loyalty are widespread because adherents do not question the statements, deeds, or policies of their leaders.
Blind loyalty leads to corruption since people in authority won't be held responsible for their acts, which results in a lack of transparency in the political process. Furthermore, since such leaders know that no matter what they do, people will always be there to back or oppose them, blind allegiance can result in abuses of power on their part.
Blind allegiance may also have negative implications like racism, tribalism, inequality, and prejudice. These consequences might have extremely dire outcomes like war or genocide.
In summary, blind loyalty doesn't help the citizens but instead empowers the Demagogues and leads to the destruction of the democratic process of a particular country and also a lack of progress on important issues within that country.