The Decline of Patriotism

English L75

“How serious was Plunkitt about patriotism’s connection to obtaining a job after Tammany won an election?”

George Washington Plunkitt, hated the Civil Service Reform movement. Civil Service Reform  started shortly after the civil war, and its purpose was to fill lower level public jobs with educated professionals, rather than an elected party’s followers. This limited the number of jobs that could be handed out, and therefore it limited the power with in the voters. He despised the civil service Reform because it limited his and his party’s power in the political field. Plunkitt’s stated reason for his vehement disapproval of the Civil Service Reform was that it limited young men who wanted to serve their city, because they had to pass an exam. Therefore, when these young men who lacked higher education could not pass the tests, their patriotism rapidly dwindled to nothing. Plunkitt undoubtedly felt that young men should be given jobs, and after the party he supported triumphed in an election, he saw a great opportunity to hand out jobs to young men, and this was important for young men’s patriotism.  He became very patriotic about the fact that people had to have a jobs.

Whenever people needed a job Plunkitt would help them find one. He had a rule to help people in need and help out others in trouble. He did not have to do any of this stuff, but he did all of this to get to know everyone in his community. Whenever kids would see him, it they would get candy. Because of this help, it made him a local celebrity and gave him more votes on Election Day. Plunkitt strongly believed that if you did something for someone, they won’t forget what you did, which means that they won’t forget you on election day.

When people saw Plunkitt helping others, they saw a man who esteemed other above himself, and therefore  they saw someone who would look to the interests of the people, if he was in office. When you know that someone thinks more highly of you then they do themselves, you will be more inclined to give that person authority over you. When we become genuinely interested in other people, people will be genuinely interested in you.









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