^^ Paul the Apostle writes his letter to his church at Corinth, saying the words I am using as my lede.
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In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul the Apostle wrote the following : When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
His admonition speaks to us today. Paul reminds us that the child is not the adult, and that we shall be judged not as we were as a child but as an adult. This is why societies establish rites of passage for their young: before, they are children; after, they are members of the society. But not before.
I recall Paul the Apostle to you because I have just finished working on a political campaign in which my candidate was savaged, likely by a rival, for things he is alleged to have done when in high school — in short, as a child.
The savaging was bad enough. Who is presumptuous enough to judge somebody else’s childhood ? Isn’t that for the child’s parents ? But enough of this. Worse than the minding somebody else’s business was the response to the savaging. My candidate had been endorsed by a number of big-name politicians, including the legislator for whom he had, until the campaign, worked as chief of staff ! Upon publication of the accusations, all four disowned my candidate. DISOWNED the man they had only a week prior endorsed ! Remember : all four had known my candidate well for years; he had worked hard on the campaigns of three of the four, and they were glad to soak up his help when they needed him. Yet when he most needed him, they went “who ? Never heard of him” or “these accusations are grave and BAD.”
We have seen this act before. My candidate is hardly the first to be accused of sexual improprieties in his school days (which somehow in the telling become predation). We all recall the shock and awe thrown at Judge Brett Kavanugh during his confirmation hearing for the office of Supreme Court Justice. Though Kavanaugh at hearing time was 53 years old, and had enjoyed 30-odd years of distinguished adult life, his “I thought as a child” years were — as the objectors screamed — so disqualifying that he was to be rejected for office, forced to resign as a Judge, and personally ruined forever.
As we recall, the attack did not work. Because Kavanaugh had the power of a political party backing him — a majority party at the time — he survived the vilification. I am no fan of political parties, which in our nation have become the wholly owned playthings of zealots and greedy donors, but in the Kavanugh affair, a strong party in support saved his reputation and his appointment to the High Court.
My candidate in the 19th Suffolk Democratic primary yesterday is not Brett Kavanugh, but it was no mistake for supporters, rejecting the attacks upon him, to quip that he was “being Kavanughed.” My candidate is now 33 years old, 15 years out of high school. In what way are his high school capers relevant to his responsible life as an adult, a life that until accusation day everyone in Democratic politics was glad to make use of all the time ?
Unfortunately, in Democratic party primaries, being accused of a sexual impropriety — only accused, mind you, and of course accused in the press; no court action need be brought, where evidence and proof would be obligatory — has become poison. If Vladimir Putin’s poison squad regularly novachuks the life out of critics like Aleksey Navalny if they can, accusers in the Democratic party’s candidate fights are allowed — encouraged, even — to poison reputations. And the party’s primary voters don’t fight it.
The Republican party is no better. It is actually worse. There, the lies of a Republican President become truths which, if you do not believe them, subject you to electoral poison. Where Democratic character assassins destroy only individual reputations, Republican character killers seek to destroy the nation., Obviously that’s a much deeper threat; but I am not assuaged by sacrificing only one life rather than an entire people. Character poisoners should be shunned at all stages. Those of us who know the person poisoned m,ust rush to his or her aid, lance the poison, and punish the poisoner, not the poisoned.
Every. Single. Time.
i am not holding my breath….
— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere