The Loyalty Oath Business

08/08/2011 11:11 am ET | Updated Oct 08, 2011
  • Barry Levinson Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producer

Grover Norquist is an old fashioned name. Sounds like something from Our Town by Thornton Wilder. But don't be mistaken. There's nothing old fashioned about Grover Norquist. He's a very modern man. In a time of a recession when jobs are hard to come by, Grover has invented a job for himself. His job is to make sure that those in Congress take a loyalty oath to say that they will never raise taxes. Ever. It's not enough for members of Congress to vote for or against a particular piece of legislation. There needs to be an oath. He believes, why be against something just for today, when you can be against it forever? That is the brilliance of Grover. He saw the need, and where there's a need, there's a job to be had.

I'm not sure there's another job like this in the United States of America. I imagine it does not require a whole lot of education to do it. Not even sure how you would teach this kind of a job. But that's the job Grover created. I'm not sure who pays him, but let's not haggle over small details. A job is a job, and Grover is in the Loyalty Oath business.

See, Grover discovered a flaw in man's thinking process. He realized that sometimes we change our minds. Sometimes we think one way, and then we realize there's another way. He spotted that flaw. He realized that no one had come up with an idea to curb that kind of behavior. You only have to go back four or five centuries to the folks who believed the earth was flat and not round. If Grover was around back then, and they had taken a loyalty oath, things would have been a whole lot different today. Now we're stuck with the idea that the world is round, and that there are people on the other side of the world. Different people. The loyalty oath puts an end to the concept of, "There's an answer until there's a better answer," and allows us to stay the course. If the flat earth theorists only had a loyalty oath, everything would have been much more simple today. "I swear to uphold that the world is flat. Today, tomorrow, and forever."

Grover could have picked another time to enforce his never raise taxes ever loyalty oath pledge. He could have done it during the Clinton years or before the Bush cuts, but he didn't feel the timing was right. He waited until the taxes for the wealthiest hit rock bottom. Only then was Grover ready. And he knew, few in Congress would be against a loyalty oath. After all, who is going to complain? Poor people? They don't have anyone representing them anyway. They don't contribute to any political war chest. The middle class? They're too busy keeping their homes off the foreclosure market or trying to find the money to send their children to college. Or just maybe trying to stay above water. There will be a few naysayers who say that tax cuts don't help stimulate the economy, but a little controversy is always good. In fact it only helps Grover's Loyalty Oath business.

It's a fine business that he has created. It's not a seasonal business as far as I can tell. And you don't need to own a store. There's no inventory. So no Walmart can come along, undercut you, and drive you out of the Loyalty Oath business. This might be the start of something big. A whole new industry. As it stands now, all you need in the Loyalty Oath business is a pledge to be against something. And there's plenty of things we can be against because we're always against something. Why, if you gave me 5 minutes, I could come up with a half of dozen loyalty oaths right off the top of my head. It wouldn't require much thinking. That's the beauty of it. Any person can go down to Kinko's, get some Loyalty Oath pledge forms, fill in what you're against, and just head on over to Congress. And you're in business. It's that simple.

Never bet against American ingenuity. We can turn this recession around in no time.