Sunday, September 15, 2019

It Follows You Forever

Social media are taking down lots of candidates these days. There is one ugly fact that we all now live with: What you write or do on the Internet lives on forever. Robin Sears writes:

It is too much to hope that young people will not say and do dumb things. We all did. But is it too much to expect that they will not lie about them when they are seeking public office?
It shouldn’t be. But once again, a spate of bozo candidate moments has bedevilled the launch of each party’s campaigns.
Everything from domestic abuse to antisemitism, to white supremacy, to Islamophobic attacks have taken down candidates from every party.

We all do stupid things in our youth. But, these days, if you try and lie about the stupid things you've done, the lies will catch up with you:

Do these idiots think that in these days of eternal digital life for every dumb thing you have said or done that they won’t be exposed? How many cases of lives and reputations ruined do they need to hear about to understand that that has not been true for more than a decade now.
Seeking the privilege of holding public office is not filling in a job application. The standards of character and integrity are much higher. For it is entirely appropriate when a hidden embarrassment is revealed, for voters to ask: “Well, if she will lie about that, what else will she lie to me about?”
Yes, the parties will need to continue to tighten their vetting processes, but few screening processes can pick out every determined liar, not even polygraphs.
So the obligation is on the aspiring candidate.
They are the ones who must ask themselves before seeking the trust of thousands of voters, is there something I have done that I am ashamed of? Are there things I have said I wish, years later, I could take back?
Most of us have examples of each in our lives. The next question is quite simple: If I disclose it and offer a genuine apology for it, could I still be accepted as a candidate?
If you honestly cannot see that happening, stand down.

Good advice for political candidates -- indeed, for all of us.

Image: Twitter


Anonymous said...

I'm not buying the "genuine apology" line that Scheer is using to continue to support candidates who've made bigoted remarks. There needs to be a history of acts that show genuine contrition, not just a self-serving apology. But then, what do you expect from a party leader who has yet to repudiate or apologize for his own anti-gay and anti-woman remarks and votes in the House of Commons.


Owen Gray said...

Some Conservative candidates see nothing wrong with Faith Goldy's view of things, Cap. I find that connection appalling.

rumleyfips said...

An insincere apology from a raging white white power racist and its all good with chuckles. This is not at all hypocritical as it is exactly Sheer-nonsense's policy towards SNC Lavalin. As he has stated many times, SNCL has fired those responsible, apologised and promised to be good and has offered bags of restitution money. That's good enough for me says Sheer-lunacy.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps it's that smile, rumley. But, from where I sit, Scheer simply comes off as disingenuous.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm with Cap. Anyone can apologize after being caught out. Anyone. Everyone can apologize 'sincerely' for that matter. The most hardened racist, the most deviant misogynist, the most hateful fascist, can apologize sincerely. That don't make it so.

This woman in Ottawa said her dealings with Faith Goldy are old history. She hasn't seen Goldy in years. Then some one comes up with a photo of the two hobnobbing in 2017. Doesn't matter, she's apologized and with mighty sincerity. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Scheer must know he has a bucket full of these types running for the Tories. Some he may be aware of, others he doesn't. They're putting him in an awkward place where he would rather not be so it'll be 'shampoo, rinse, repeat' for Andy.

Owen Gray said...

You and Cap have it right, Mound. A simple apology won't wash.

the salamander said...

.. I smile most, .. well.. at a lot of things.. perhaps its a vestige of Mary Poppinism.. or the impish shimney sweep. But here's one of my favorite things.. a focus on how vulnerable certain folks are.. just for what they said, gaily with malice and aforethought.. and as they go down the road, their 'story' keep changing

A classic was Thomas Mulcair (who I miss.. and never thought he was angry)
He caught if I'mnot mistaken, the Prime Minister of Canada lying to the public.. and his quote was classic.. to the effect of 'My God man, we actually write this stuff down that you say verbatim, its in Hansard !' Hansard is a toughie to dodge. Back then I really began parsing the bizarre comments of Stephen Harper.. the bald face lying by using cryptic denial language. 'I have no knowledge of these matters'.. I think re Duffy.. and his bizarro denial that he ever said Missing Indigenous weren't on his radar.. Wha ?

But Harper was ahead of his time.. and realized that by lying every day - like a trooper.. nobody could keep up with the volume of lies. and even if they did.. it would become this ponderous tome that would make the voters eyes glaze over.. so just lie lie lie.. it seems to have no 'natural consequence' .. ie no political penalty. It was somewhat revolutionary.. and it worked. Its been embraced and jtilized by most political animals. Its allowed perps like Jason Kenney to become Alberta millionaires. Politics is curiously divorced from 'Justice' .. you have to really screw up to go to jail for defrauding Canadian taxpayers without 'Passing Go'.. I find it stunning that Michael Sona went to prison.. but then he was well framed by Arthur Hamilton, a highly practiced lawyer lacking in any real morality or ethics. Stephen Lecce, now a Doug Ford MPL is one of the most cringeworthy of the Harper acolytes.. the list goes on and on

This may be the challenge of our time.. to strip away the faux 'christianity.. and punish the political deceivers.. and promptly.. as they are frauds. But.. and its the BIG BUT.. our political processes are essentially dead horses wearing a lot of lipstick (i hate to keep insulting pigs by comparing political parasites to them) Why we saddle up dead horses astonishes me. Because PostMedia says to ? Or nightly panels loaded with PR types on CTV or Global or CBC ? Deary me.. we must trust a Brian Lilley from the Toronto Sun.. or Robert Fife ?

The Boss burst out laughing as Andrew Scheer's pants burst into flame re 'just needing to apologize' and thus he will have the back of candiates that are homophobic or racist.. even she says.. 'why accept the apology of a liar.. or the explaining of a liar ? Its just one liar defending or protecting another liar .. by lying and MainMedia says essentailly nothing

Owen Gray said...

We used to think that when people lied they blushed, sal. Recent events have sent that old saw to the dustbin.