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What is really important about a politician's past?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 01:45 pm
I certainly do not know much about the details of these recent VA politicians. It just made me think - to what extent and how long ago is it really important to dig into a politician's past?

As I said I don't know the specifics of these particular individuals - they may be jerks any way - but assuming they have been serving their constituents well and are great at his/her position for years - does it make sense to drag them down due to some dumb stunt they did in college? I mean a stunt not something illegal.

Where is the line drawn? And is there an age?

I know I did some dumb things in college - well I will never run for office.

 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 01:49 pm
@Linkat,
Being a white male? I don't think I have a say in this arena these days (checking my white male privilege).
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PUNKEY
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 02:32 pm
Since the human brain isn’t fully developed until age 25 or so, we ought to forgive and forget some of those foolish costumes and remarks made before that, huh? Especially on the campus. ( This excludes acts of violence, cruelty, inability to be socialized , etc. that reveal themselves by the age of 4)
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Sturgis
 
  4  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 02:58 pm
After a number of years the statute of limitations should expire if there haven't been any more of this type egregious acts. How many years? Not sure.

As a gay man I've had inappropriate comments and visual things tossed at me and seen it portrayed in movies and on television. It's done for laughs in the media, not always amusing. I rarely say anything.

Growing up, I was aware of comments made about my father (50%) native American, with darker skin). He tended not react to it and just proceeded with whatever was at hand. (There was also the matter of him being on the older side, and people who didn't know would ask if he was my grandfather)

Racism and inappropriate comments run deep, integrated into our being early on.

In the situation currently overtaking the Commonwealth of Virginia and the media regarding Governor Northam and the now resigned Attorney, they have the added misfortune of representing a place which until 1997 was still using Carry Me Back To Old Virginia (originally Virginny). It included such lines as "There's where the darkies heart am longed to go" and "There's where I labored so hard for old massa....".
It's little wonder that these people thought putting color on their faces was okay. Hopefully, people will stop this disgraceful behavior and heed the message that this is never and never was appropriate or okay.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 03:16 pm
@Sturgis,
I remember in high school detesting one of my teachers. I am not sure I fully understood at the time why -- but I certainly know now. He was racist and sexist and displayed it in his words and actions in class.

He called a friend of mine our token negro. He made sexist remarks. I could not hide my detest and disgust for him in class - I did not say anything directly but he had to see my disgust on my face (I am not good at hiding that).

On every test that was subjective I failed - on those that there was a direct right and wrong answer I got As. At that time we did not fight back or complain about teachers.

Obviously he would not get away with his actions now -

Yes things have gotten better and I thinking of this - in a very small way I can understand - it did not hit me as deep but I still remember this and it still bothers me.

Do you think though if these politicians were just being dumb kids and realize how stupid and hurtful they were at that time - it should be forgiven?

I am not directly speaking of these VA ones - but anyone for that matter? It was wrong - I am not saying it was ok - but if they were truly doing this/saying this due to ignorance and have since grown up should they still be held accountable?
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 03:29 pm
@Linkat,
At the very least, when it becomes public that this is part of their past, they need to admit and own it. Those who are in their immediate circle need to then acknowledge if they too have ever done this and it they did, then say when they stopped even if it was just once.

Were the pols just young ignorant kids? Some likely were...even of their parents weren't. Others probably knew it was hurtful and wrong. No matter when it happened, there needs to be some accountability. How that is done, what actions they take, can go a long way in helping to heal.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2019 05:09 pm
@Sturgis,
I agree completely - to me if someone really felt that did something hurtful and stupid as a kid - they would want to immediately right their wrong rather than cover their a$$.

Unfortunately I think most politicians are more concerned with covering their butts than being concerned about the hurt they might have caused.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2019 04:53 pm
@Linkat,
There is no specific age, however, if the objectionable comment or action occurs at, say 20, and come to light at age 40, we should examine the person's actions over the 20 year period.

Young people are rash and unthoughtful. It's the nature of the beast. It shouldn't follow them throughout their adult lives.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  0  
Reply Thu 14 Feb, 2019 03:13 am
@Sturgis,
It's late so I'll get back tomorrow. My short answer is that it's complicated. I don't mean it's all right...I'll explain later.

I can say that when we went on a school trip to Mt. Vernon as the bus pulled into the parking lot I saw a sign that said 'no coloreds allowed'...More later
0 Replies
 
 

 
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