In our society, who you align yourself with is just as important as what you believe, your actions, your experience, and where you come from. It’s been said that the people you hang with or conduct business with say a lot about who you are as a person. I guess this couldn’t be any truer than in public office. Many persons have been tarnished by the actions of others. Whether or not those affected had anything to do with what went down, they are guilty by association. I’ll never understand why, especially if it’s over foolishness that they had nothing to do with, or when there is an obvious disconnect between their platform and that of their close colleagues.
It makes no sense to me that people automatically change their opinions of you and your character based upon the beliefs held by people that you know—especially when you’ve expressed the distinctions on more than one occasion. You shouldn’t have to distance yourself from those close to you because of a fiery speech they gave, controversial rhetoric in an article, book, or video clip, or because certain beliefs they have challenge those held by the masses. It seems to me to be more of a problem with the public and less a problem with or for you; or more of a problem for pundits, sideliners, and so-called experts.
People have to learn to accept the unknown, the foreign, and the distinctive. People have to learn to separate individuals from other people, their actions, and their beliefs. Many times these factors are not synonymous. Why should persons be alienated and vilified for actions untaken and words unsaid by them?
Though I’ll never understand this, I hope that people understand the implications, and will hold themselves just as accountable as public figures to a bar that is unrealistically high. ’Cause if you’re going to do it to others, the golden rule says the same should apply to you.