Thursday, September 10, 2015

And Now A Word From A Reader About The Online Shaming Of Candidates For Past Minor Transgressions.


The other day I wrote a post about how all this online shaming of candidates and campaign-associated folks for their past transgressions/actions/points of view is starting to make me uncomfortable.

Mostly it's the 'gotcha!' of the thing, particularly when it has nothing to do with issues or policy positions, or even ideology, that concerns me.

But, to be perfectly honest, there is also a wee bit of the 'There but the grace (and parmesan) of the spaghetti monster go I'  mixed into my discomfort.

But it turns out that there is also something else to consider here.

Which is a point that was raised in the comment thread by a reader that some of you might know/remember:

Glen Clark said...

"...Hard to see how this 'morality test' applied to old social media posts can survive much longer. 

I hate to think of things I would have posted when I was younger. Clearly had I had the opportunity to display my 'thoughts' I would have been disqualified for public office (course some may be applauding now!). 

But I really fear that we risk alienating all but the most boring, careful risk-avoiding people from even competing for public office if we continue to react with outrage at every old tweet."

Hard to argue with that last part, eh?

And ya, it was that guy named Glen...I checked, and he was OK with me bringing this to the front page.



karen said...

I share your discomfort at this. One of our few admirable (though admittedly too often un-exercised) abilities is that of self-reflection and changing our minds. I doubt that the virulent piling-on accomplishes anything but to further entrench a position, and drive those of us who contain multitudes to keep our heads as down as possible.

Paul Ramsey said...

What's the statute of limitations on stupid social media mistakes? 5 months? 5 years? A general "I know a youthful indiscretion when I see one" smell test? Does an old politically tinged stupid post (youthful admiration for Ayn Rand?) count more or less than a recent non-political stupid thing (peeing in a coffee cup?!?). Will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Unlike smoking MJ, it's unlikely we'll see a generalized cultural relaxation towards "doing really stupid stuff", because there will always be something beyond the pale, and someone who's done it...

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

What do you get when the political stage gets walked on by only those with squeaky clean histories? Stephen Bleedin' Harper, that's who. Give me a mom who thinks a little weed never hurt anybody any day. Hell, Dana Larsen, a master of past indiscretions made public, would make a Prime Minister than him.