I used to teach DUI classes, you know those classes that people have to take after they get pulled over for being drunk or high. They end up losing their license, and in order to get it back they have to jump through a few hoops. While I was teaching this class one of the more common complaints I used to hear was “Cops have a quota! Why don’t they find something better to do than setting up sobriety check points, or hiding down the street from the bar at last call?! I felt FINE to drive!” The rant would go on for a while, but the essential point was that they were upset that they lost their license. They had felt fine at the time that they got pulled over, but now they had lost their license and it was the police’s fault, and I had to listen to it.
I didn’t mind listening to it, but one thing I always made sure to add to the conversation was that whether or not the cops did or didn’t have quotas was irrelevant, the fact that you had blown a .21 on the breathalyzer was far more relevant. The point being, you can be mad at the police all you want, but ultimately you still did something illegal and got caught. Whether you got caught up in a sobriety check point, were a victim of circumstance, or because you plowed in to a tree… you were still DUI and and since that is against the law, the police’s job is try to protect everyone from impaired drivers. Why you felt okay to drive after drinking as much as you did is another whole can of worms.
I say all of this because I don’t really see much difference between this situation and the one the DNC is currently going through with the WikiLeaks release of hacked DNC emails. Yes it sucks that the DNC’s emails were hacked. It’s not exactly unprecedented, and honestly in these situations I’m always dubious of the source of the hack since a good hacker can lay a false trail like nobody’s business. It could be Russia, it could be North Korea, it could be 725 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10022. While the source of the hack is certainly of interest, news stories of the hacking are rapidly replacing stories of the content in the emails. And people are ready to accept the idea that Putin is trying to influence our election by leaking these incriminating emails at just the right time.
But let me ask these question: Even if Putin is trying to influence our election, does that change the content of the emails themselves? Does it change the bias that was displayed by an organization that was supposed to support all of its candidates equally? Even if Russia is trying to tilt our election, aren’t they doing so with the DNC’s own emails, albeit illegally obtained?
I’m not saying what the hackers did was right. But just like the drunk driver caught up in sobriety checkpoint who felt okay to drive, does any of that change the DNC’s misdeeds?
After the last post Dear DNC I got a wide sampling of opinions on my how I view this whole thing. It’s amazing to see how people read things based on their personal position. Flatly asking someone to look at things in a way that they’re not comfortable with can cause some friction, unless you enjoy questioning yourself.. which I do.
The above post does the same thing. It’s not asking if you want Hillary, Bernie, Trump, Putin or Elvis. It’s asking if you can look beyond your beliefs to see the entrenched ethical problems that we are now faced with.
We are seeing unprecedented political events right now. Taken together with other changes in the world the repercussions of our choices could be catastrophic, and will most definitely be historic. Much of what we are dealing with has built up over generations, but these are not choices to be made out of knee-jerk emotionally visceral actions. We owe it to ourselves to look deep. Ask questions. And aim toward the light.
Then if you want to bash me, go for it. But I will come back with questions for you. I try not to engage in flame wars. I prefer to challenge you to look at yourself. And I invite you to do the same to me.