National Affairs: The First Loyalty

Back in 1883, President Chester A. Arthur approved a civil service rule, prohibiting any inquiry into the political beliefs of an applicant for a federal job. It was a wise and liberal provision in days when the radical fringe consisted of nothing more horrendous than the Greenback National and Prohibition parties. It remained valid during the rise & fall of the Populist, Progressive, Bull Moose and Socialist-Labor movements. Their adherents were loyal to the U.S. first, to their party second—and never to a foreign government. Not until 1939 was the rule amended, to...

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