Hey guys, it’s me here and it’s time for another personal musing of mine. I just saw Doctor Strange today, it’s rather late at night as I write this and I’m in a very dark and grim mood. But hey, inspiration can strike in the most unusual of times and circumstances can it not reader?
Enough of that tangent. Earlier today, I saw that sometimes controversial and often liberal television commentator Bill Maher issued a mea culpa regarding how he had treated past Republican candidates for the Presidency in the wake of the rise of Donald J. Trump. For those of you who may have crappy internet, what he said can be found below. It’s kind of amazing.
“I know liberals made a big mistake because we attacked your boy [President George W. Bush] like he was the end of the world, he wasn’t. And Mitt Romney, we attacked that way. I gave Obama a million dollars; I was so afraid of Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wouldn’t have changed my life that much, or yours. Or John McCain. They were honorable men who we disagreed with. And we should have kept it that way. So, we cried wolf. And that was wrong.”
That quote and the honesty behind it is something that every partisan (Be they conservative, liberal or any other ideology of any sort) needs to learn and take to heart from now on. The reality of most politicians is that they may be good people or they may not be, we can’t really judge as our perception is clouded by the actions that they end up taking in their political lives.
Personally, I have friends who will criticize Hillary Clinton not solely on the merits of actions she’s taken politically, but also in a personal way. To them, she’s a crook, a thieving liar out to destroy the nation and step on the throats of others in order to enrich herself and her cronies.
On the other side of the spectrum, my more liberal friends wildly dislike Ted Cruz. There’s the jokes about him being the Zodiac Killer, others suggest that his family are “hostages” used in order to burnish his rightist credentials among a family values base and some compare him to various subterranean creatures or unusual fishes that can be found in the oceans darkest depths.
Again, much like Hillary Clinton, it is wrong to criticize the man on a personal level.
As a recovered ideologue, I have learned that you attack someone on what they do or say in the political space. Not the actions they decide to take in their private lives or with their families.
Hillary Clinton should rightly be questioned and criticized for the questionable shifting positions she has held over the years on various issues and the possible conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation and various foreign actors. On the other side of the spectrum, Ted Cruz deserves to be challenged on his statements regarding pipeline politics and his political associations. I wouldn’t attack him for how he acts with his family and nor would I drum up ridiculous claptrap concerning Hillary Clinton and her health. Both are pointless distractions.
So to my ideologue friends I say this, take a page out of the Book of Maher. In the years to come, politicians will rise and fall in the national spotlight, you may not like what they do or say, but unless you know them personally, you have no grounds to attack them for non-political actions.