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Thursday, March 30, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: In defense of the 'loyalty oath' (from me??)

Editor’s Notebook: In defense of the ‘loyalty oath’ (from me??)

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The field of contenders is now fixed and changes have been approved for the 2022 Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus, with the winner (to be determined in June) likely to have an easy ride to general-election success in November despite the presence of a few others on the fall ballot.

Under pressure from some who wanted the caucus process scrapped altogether or at least significantly restructured, the county Democratic leadership did agree to some relatively modest revisions of the process.

One thing that didn’t change, however, is that those voting in the caucus will be required to sign what colloquially is known as a “loyalty oath” or “loyalty pledge,” promising not to actively oppose any Democrat on the general-election ballot in order to cast a vote in the caucus.

Local Democrats said they attempted to get authorization from the Democratic Party of Virginia to drop the pledge, but were rebuffed.


Count me – not a voter in anyone’s nominating contests, for the record – as among those who actually don’t have a particular problem with the pledge. It’s the Democrats’ endorsement process; they get to make the rules.

If the loyalty pledge is offensive to an individual, voters can either skip the caucus, or mentally cross their fingers when signing. After all, there’s no jail operated by the Arlington Democratic Committee for those who refuse to be bound by the pledge later in election season. (Well, not yet!)

AS LONG AS IT’S CAUGHT BEFORE THE PRESSES ROLL: We have a photo page from the McLean Chocolate Festival in this week’s Fairfax edition, with a nice big headline that says “Chocolate Festival Satisfies Cravings.”

Fortunately, we noticed before sending it over to the pressroom that it initially read “Cholocate Festival Satisfies Cravings.”

Whoopsie-doodle. Who knew I was dylsxleic. Er, dyslecix. Er, dyslexic. Or maybe it was just a case of fat typing fingers.

Ah well, all’s well that ends well, to quote a certain author. And any typo that gets caught before presses roll is actually not a typo at all, now is it?

(A former colleague used to remark that there’s no such thing as a typo in the newspaper biz unless it occurs on the front page. Gotta say that’s a man after my own heart. And as another famous saying goes: “Doctors bury their mistakes, newspapers print theirs.”)

– Scott McCaffrey

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