Thursday, June 7, 2012

Political Time-travel

How long in the past do we look to find out about who a candidate or elected official is?  Where is the line?  Or is it ever possible to out live a mistake or mis-statement?

If you listen to the news and talk shows, it doesn't look like you can ever out live anything you have ever said or done.  (And if you are Sarah Palin, you can never outlive things comical lookalikes have said or done.)

But here is the problem.  Back a decade ago, things were different than they were today.  Two decades ago we were worried about things that we don't worry about today.  And we were not at all worried about things that we are really concerned with today.  And three decades ago, we didn't even know that some or our concernes today existed.  And some of them didn't.

When I was a child, there was no gay or homosexual community.  We sang along with the Flintstones' theme song about a "gay old time" and were happy.  (That's what gay meant back then.)  As an adolescent we heard about gay people.  Some of my friends made really bad jokes about them.  Today, no one makes those ignorant jokes as we are all way too educated on the issue.

Fast forward 20 or 30 years, and these peers are old enough to be elected to government positions.  Should I go out and make statements and go on TV and expose these things?

Billy getting into a playground fight and pushing a girl at 8 years old does not mean anything about Billy at 38.  It just doesn't.

And Bert picking on a kid in high school at 18, doesn't mean anything about Bert at 48.  It just doesn't.

I have some beliefs and views that have survived from my childhood.  I was a fan of Regan as a kid.  I am still a fan.  I was a christian as a kid.  I am still a christian.

But I was also an environmentalist that thought protesters spiking trees to kill loggers where heroes as a kid in the public school system.  I think they are murderers now.

As a kid, I didn't really understand abortion.  Then I did, and decided that it was murder and never excusable.  Then I grew up a bit more and moderated my views for special circumstances.  And today, I think it is still murder in most cases, but think it should be a states rights issue not a federally protected or prohibited act.  And as I continue to live and discuss my views, I will continue to refine and adapt my views.

Its called being alive.

By going back to the high school of a person to look for dirt, we are participating in "Political Time Travel"  We are going back to select times where people were ignorant and capturing their acts and statements from that time.  Then we transport that to today, and attach it to a candidate or person.

Its ridiculous.

We should be laughed at for doing so.

But where is the cutoff.  How far back do we look to find out who our candidates and officials are?  10 years sure.  20 years?  not so sure.  30 years?  probably not.

When I hear clips that are brought forward about someone running for office.  I have to ask or inquire how long ago they are from.  And then weight them accordingly.

We all do and say stupid things when we are growing up.  And even as adults.  We shouldn't toss out anyone that has ever made a statement or we will be left electing people that are truly unknown.

And didn't we do that already?

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