Loyalty in a political project is one of the most difficult things to define. It is perfectly understood that a leader asks his collaborators to share the vision of the country or the state behind his exercise of government; it is not only plausible but desirable. The problem is to define that subtle border between loyalty and complicity, the moment in which the blind obedience requested by the president turns into complicit blindness, closing one’s eyes to something that may be incorrect, illegal or simply considered by an official as not correct ethically.
What Jaime Cárdenas says with all elegance in his resignation letter is not that he does not agree with the project of the López Obrador government, but that he was asked to do illegal things or with incorrect procedures. The public administration is not for everyone, the president is right in that, because unlike ordinary mortals, those who work in government can only do what the law expressly allows them, everything else implies a fault. Cárdenas left because he was asked to make decisions not contemplated in the law that would have implied that he, as a public official, incurred in administrative offenses if not in the commission of crimes.
There is no better loyalty than that of someone who anticipates problems, but that loyalty is not blind, on the contrary, it is uncomfortable and revealing.
When the government project is crossed every day by the occurrence of the moment, loyalty is no longer the vision of a group headed by the president – a vision that would allow the public official to establish a work route – but a submission. What they asked Jaime Cárdenas was an urgent action and outside the law to hide the failure of the plane raffle. His disloyalty was not having lent himself to the game and that cost him public revulsion, being accused by urbi et orbi of being disloyal, lacking in commitment and even lazy.
Little by little the cob is shelled in the government and the dissonant and discordant voices are getting off the ship. The captain does not want officers who look far, anticipate storms or propose adjustments in the course, none who question his decisions or have their own opinion regarding the handling of the ship, he only wants obedient sailors, who carry out the orders and sing praises.
There is no better loyalty than that of someone who anticipates problems, but that loyalty is not blind, on the contrary, it is uncomfortable and revealing. There is no worse help than that of the blind accomplice, the one who prefers not to see so as not to disturb the tlatoani. The most convinced public officials can close their eyes and get carried away, have blind faith in their leader and believe from the bottom of their soul that the president knows better than anyone what the people want and what Mexico needs. What they cannot do is close their eyes to what is illegal because future problems will not be for the president, they will be for the obedient official.