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An Opinion – Part 2

Okay, the reminder that this is my opinion. This and $1.25 may get me a cup of coffee.

Hopefully, yesterday I got to the idea that letting other people think for you has unexpected consequences. And that critical thinking is a critical skill but one that is hard to teach.

Now. The really controversial part of the opinion.

Elliot Spitzer. Christopher Lee. Anthony Weiner.

Politicians who did stupid, some of it on the Internet, and have been driven out of political office (Weiner as of just late yesterday) by their own stupid actions.

The daring question: Should they be?

I’m not saying they didn’t do stupid. Or that what they did wasn’t hurtful to their families and their personal lives. But…. and this is the learning to think moment… what are the long term consequences for this type of an automatic reaction to what they did? What happens in 10-15 years when the people who are kids today start to look at taking a role in politics?

The scary question: What happens when the general opinion becomes “anyone who have ever done stupid can’t be in politics?”

Who’s left to be in politics then? People who have never done (or never been caught doing!) anything wrong. Ever. Remember, the Internet never forgets. If you’ve never poked at the “wayback machine” you should. And Facebook has a backup system that you can’t lay your hands on but someone can. It’s all there and it never goes away.

Back to my “people who have never done stupid” category. What kind of people are these folk likely to be? I’m going to guess that, by default, they are fairly conservative folk — at least personally, if not professionally. They definitely are not risk takers. They don’t make mistakes — which can be a scary place to work from; how do you learn anything if you don’t make mistakes. And what are they going to think about the rest of us that are out there doing risky and possibly stupid things? I’m not so sure I want that kind of person in charge of me.

I’m going to quit there before I push any of your hot buttons. ::grin::

This is one of those teachable moments. Sure, people are going to do stupid… and, yes, there’s stupid and there’s stupid. You’re homework is to discuss where this attitude about stupidity might go, what are some of the consequences for what we (the global ‘we’) are doing right now.  

Think. Critically.

2 thoughts on “An Opinion – Part 2

  1. The real issue here, the one that cost these gentlemen their livelihoods, is not that they did something stupid. It’s that they were caught using the power of their positions to cover it up. Yes, they should absolutely lose their jobs for this. It is a horrible abuse of power.

    I think we have a right to hold our politicians to a higher standard. Anyone wishing to go into politics may want to think about how they live and the consequences of their actions.

    • I do agree about the abuse of power and holding folk with power to higher standards.

      But I also don’t want to get to a point where the only folk in power are the “holier than thou” folk… they’ve never done wrong (or never been caught, which is an even worse abuse of power) and whatever the rest of us are doing will be considered ‘wrong’…. what’s wrong in your code of life may not be wrong in my code of life…. and I can live with that. I worry about someone else deciding what’s right and wrong for everyone without allowing for those differences.

      So, yes, hold folk to standards but… there’s room for thinking and compassion.

      And thank you, thank you for speaking up!!!!

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