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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Politicians are people too

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It is important to remember that politicians are people. They have children and pets. They have worries and hopes. They have faced obstacles and suffered losses.


Too often we gain only a very shallow understanding of who the politicians are. If you know that a politician has lost a child or survived cancer, it makes it easier to see them as a person. Even if you do not agree with them politically you may find that you have a lot in common.


Recently there have been reports out of Florida and DC about politicians being yelled at over their views while they are eating in restaurants or ordering coffee. Some in the press and public celebrate the individuals that perform this kind of harassment. This behavior is not acceptable.

I speak from personal experience. About five years ago I was a commissioner and then a mayor. When there were hot button issues in front of the commission sometimes I would have an angry constituent yell at me in the local grocery store in front of my four kids.

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I would try to be polite and suggest that they come to the commission meeting. Many times there was no way to have a quick discussion on the topic, because the information they had was incomplete. To actually have a meaningful discussion of the issue would require explaining a significant amount of background.

Too often politics is reduced to bumper stickers. The issues are simplified to a slogan, the problem with this is that all the gray area is lost. Without that additional information people assume that the only reason someone could oppose their view is they are evil or have bad intentions.

Generally, in politics if the decision is easy, it has been made. If it is a hot button issue then there are most likely good reasons on both sides otherwise the issue would already have been solved.

By attacking a politician in public we give them no time to be human. We take away their ability to act normal. This will drive many good people from politics and force the few who remain to live in an ivory tower with guards.

If this behavior is allowed to persist, do not think this will be limited to the Trump administration or even the right side of the aisle. Leftist politicians will start to see this treatment in public.

How can we expect these politicians to represent us when we deny them the ability to live normal lives? If they cannot go to the bookstore or a restaurant without being attacked, if you are denied life with the public you will lose touch. So the end result of this will be politicians that are out of touch and enjoy trolling people.


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