Over this past week I have been reading the autobiography of George W. Plunkitt(1842-1924), who was a politician. Not much is known of Plunkitt other than his political life and involvement in Tammany Hall, a political society, which was a democratic party. His autobiography does not contain any detail on his personal life but instead is about his political life, which is one of the reasons why not much is known of him. But how serious was Plunkitt about patriotism’s connection to obtaining a job after Tammany won an election?
To begin with Plunkitt as a politician believed in helping others to gain votes. For example he would help a poor and needy family, or help people get jobs, and those families and individuals would vote for him. So whenever Tammany won an election they would give out jobs to their voters and supporters. Which goes to show how serious he was about the connection of patriotism to obtaining a job after Tammany or himself had won an election. Plunkitt also believed in something he called “honest graft,” a system of gaining money legally from a political position, he thought it was fine to help himself and gain money legally. He personally despised any politician who took up “dishonest graft,” which was the opposite of what he did, and was illegal.
Something that Plunkitt despised more than a politician who took up “dishonest graft,” was the civil service examination or law. He despised it so much that he mentioned it constantly in his autobiography. He stated that the civil service examination or law restricted the number of people who could get into political office because they had to answer a number of exam questions. This most importantly killed the patriotism of anyone who tried to get into office and failed. He believed that this was the government’s betrayal of the people, and would lead to people becoming less patriotic. He was a large believer in patriotism, a large part of his career depended on it as you might have noticed, which comes to show how much he hated the civil service examination.
In summary Plunkitt’s political standpoint in short was pretty straight forward, he believed in using his position to help people, to gain votes. He also believed in “honest graft, a system of gaining money legally from a political system to benefit himself. He was highly against “dishonest graft,” and the civil service examination or law, I explained this above. Whenever he won in an election he would give out jobs to his voters, which shows how serious he was about patriotism’s connection to obtaining a job after Tammany won.