One Nation in Hypocrisy and Judgement We Stand!
This presidential election is about to get on my last damn nerve…
It seems one thing it is rife with is hypocrisy and judgement. Oh and hate. And bullshit.
People throw around character assassinations like it’s candy and they’re on a float in a parade. Or like an Italian grandma with wedding cookies and she has visitors. Or like a new recruit in an MLM that just got business cards. But I digress…
And every claim of a flaw of a candidate is met with “Yea, well what about your guy did this…?” I don’t even let my children do that, not even when they were small. It’s the “But Johnny did it too” or “But Johnny did something worse” defense. My answer has always been “I don’t care what Johnny did, we’re talking about you. We’re addressing what you did.”
But getting people to stick to one subject is damn near impossible. So why bother, right? I mean let’s leave the personal stuff out of it anyway, right? Also, that’s just being judgemental and hypocritical, right? I mean, let he who is without sin cast the first stone… or whatever the saying is.
What if we did go back to the days of leaving personal stuff out? In reading about elections from the past couple centuries and the few I have witnessed in the past few decades of my lifetime, I don’t seem to recall much personal stuff being bandied about until maybe Nixon or Carter… 1972 or 1976 elections. It was still rather mild and not plastered all over, but then again we didn’t have the internet and 24 hour news stations with time to fill. You heard a little bit about Nixon being a crook (which ultimately became true) and that Jimmy Carter had a drunk, obnoxious brother (which ultimately had no bearing whatsoever).
But before that there were plenty of dudes elected to the office of President of the United States that had secrets come out that in this day and age would be scrutinized 24/7 non-stop. But some of those “shortcomings” turned out to have no effect on the ability to do a good job. Hmmmm…
Yes, there are some people who I think are terrible people but do their job well. Which totally goes against my nature. I’m all for good people, all around. I believe in God and karma and all that stuff where I couldn’t possibly be good at my job then be a shithead in my personal life. However, I’ve never been at such a high level of power and money that my judgement could be impaired, either. Here are some presidents who probably would have been taken down had there been the interwebz…
FDR pulled us out of the Great Depression and helped us win WWII… he had mistresses right out in the open and hid his health problems, even the fact that he was unable to even stand on his own.
JFK made great strides in the Civil Rights Movement and stood up to Cuba in the ballsy Cuban Missile Crisis… had several mistresses paraded through the White House, and allegedly had lots of Mob ties which helped him win the election. Not to mention his father being a bootlegger and serial philanderer.
Ronald Reagan made the 80’s all bright and shiny with a new Camaro for everyone and single-handedly ended the Cold War (according to mythology)… started his descent into Alzheimer’s Disease before his second term was over.
Abraham Lincoln essentially ended slavery and was a great statesman among other things (we get the day off for his birthday, for God’s sake)… suffered from clinical depression, malaria, and smallpox, not to mention his wife was certifiable.
So… what does all this mean? Well it goes to show that journalists were a lot more polite and appropriate back in the day, for one. A public figure’s personal life wasn’t open season. They respected that and stuck to the facts and with politicians stuck to the task at hand… mostly. And people did mostly as well. But people will always dig something up on someone they don’t like, just because… And we didn’t have the internet to perpetuate it.
And oh it’s just not politicians! Look at Pete Rose, legendary baseball player, one of the all-time greats… so he did a little gambling, meh. I don’t think his gambling mattered in him being all-time leader in hits, at-bats, singles, etc.
What’s the answer? I don’t know. I like to think a person’s character matters but ultimately if they do their job well, it’s no one’s business I guess. Maybe I just prefer the days when journalism wasn’t so seedy and personal. Just something to keep in mind though… you really shouldn’t judge others if you don’t have a clean slate, well actually at all, you shouldn’t judge at all. Don’t be the pot calling the kettle black…