Letter: Discernment, loyalty and discipline are important

Letter: Discernment, loyalty and discipline are important


To the editor:

Mr. Timothy Sweeney, a Bristol Town Councilor and a Democrat, subsequently to our last election, nominated Councilwoman Mary Parella, a Republican, to the chairperson’s seat. Mr. Sweeney observed that Ms. Parella had won more votes than any other candidate for council. He also defended his vote by stating his belief that Ms. Parella’s political background and experience in serving Bristol, both at the local and state level, caused her to be well-prepared to lead the council.

Mr. John Faria, local Democrat party chairman, along with the Democrat Town Committee, has voted to not accept Mr. Sweeney on to the committee. Mr. Faria stated the reason to be that Mr. Sweeney voted for Republican Councilor Mary Parella to be the council chairwoman. Mr. Faria observed that when it is time to elect the team captain, you need to elect the captain for your  team.

Since that time, there have been varying and opposing perspectives, and Mr. Doug Gablinske commenting that  “the debate is a bit confusing,” offered to “add some perspective” (Feb. 27, 2014, Bristol Phoenix). His theme centers around what he believes are the two requirements of party structure — loyalty and discipline — and that without either, the entire system breaks down.

As I read the article, for whatever reason I thought of two things: First, Washington and our troops at Valley Forge, from December 1777 to June 1778. More than 2,500 deaths occurred as a result of typhoid, typhus, small pox, dysentery, pneumonia, malnourishment and being poorly clothed. Some of the public, congress and military, wanted Washington removed. The goal of the conflict was to bring independence to the United States. Certainly, an example of loyalty and discipline prevailing won us that independence.

Second, the Watergate break in June 1972. This was a break-in of Democrat headquarters for the purpose of document snatching and eavesdropping, by bugging, and was conducted as a covert, authorized Republican operation. November of that year was a presidential election year. In the process of an attempt to thwart the subsequent investigation (a cover up, based on and employing loyalty and discipline) President Nixon’s top aides – Ehrlichman and Haldeman quit. Three attorney’s general resigned. The initial special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, who wouldn’t bend from his position of wanting the White House tapes to aid him in his investigation, but was thwarted by the White House, was eventually fired by Solicitor General Robert Bork. And when the United States Supreme Court in August 1972 rejected the ‘executive privilege’ argument (an 8-0 vote), President Nixon announced that evening that he would be resigning the presidency the following day. In all, the scandal resulted in the indictment, trial , conviction, and incarceration of 43 people.

It is very clear that without discernment, loyalty and discipline, the entire system can break down. Their importance, as stated by Mr. Gablinske, of contributing to a “successful life” and “moral compass,” when abused, will not result.


Owen Trainor

198 High St.


  1. Owen,

    Just a thought, but if George Washington carried loyalty and discipline as far as you and Doug suggest we might still be part of the British Empire. I hope our elected officials have more discernment than lemmings who travel in lockstep.

    Last I checked the “Independent Man” still tops our State House.