Apologia: A primer on getting out of trouble.
Lately I have been quite jaded about politics and the current election. I have tuned out speeches, campaigns, and only kept a tiny portion of my attention focused in that arena. But recent events have slapped my face.
A couple of days ago, we learned that WikiLeaks released 19,252 emails downloaded from the Democratic national committee’s hackable server. A mere day later, journalists have rummaged through them already, sniffing out the juicy stuff and tell us a story: The DNC conspired against Bernie to ensure that Hillary got the nomination. That is a pretty serious accusation! If this is true, there are no free and fair elections in America. Democracy (republican style) is dead and your support for your favored candidate does not matter. The preferred candidate will win. If the Democrats are this corrupt, we must assume the Republicans are as well. And where does it stop? Is the general election rigged? Ask Al Gore, he’ll give you an ear full. But given that the DNC is in hot water, what do they do about it? What is the best strategy for their PR team to “put out this fire?” What do they say to the press? Well we won’t have to wait long. Pick up today’s paper. So why not take a look at what the “experts” say is the best way to handle such situations and still retain your honor.
No, we don’t have long to wait.
- The DNC chair takes a back seat—all but disappears click here
- Sanders says the DNC must clean house click here
- DNC accuses Russia of the leak and favoring the Republican nominee click here
That last one is the real strategy. The DNC is pinning this on the Russians. Of course, it was Hillary’s campaign manager who has voiced this claim, keeping the DNC on the bench for the moment. This person concludes by calling the situation “disturbing”--just enough of an insinuation to prompt people to think, but not enough to raise the ire of Russians too much. They are implicitly suggesting that the Russians may have fabricated emails that are evidence of collusion & conspiracy. By the way, evidence for this claim is circumstantial or non-existent. (The chair’s disappearance could be seen as part of the corrective action, making her into a scapegoat. edit: She resigned last night)
Traditionally, when your character is impugned, one must defend themselves publicly. Traditionally this is done either through a duel or a speech--a special kind of speech called an apologia. As much as some of us might love to see a duel, we’ll have to settle for talk. Traditionally, the impugned person would deliver that speech (advised by a PR team), but today it usually an underling under the supervision of that same PR team. And believe it or not, there are scholars who have dedicated their careers to analyze how people can best get out of hot water. They have identified the typical strategies that scoundrels use to remain an upstanding member of the community:
- Deny or shift the blame elsewhere
- Evade your responsibility through various means (kids are masters at this)
- Minimize the seriousness of the action
- Attack your accusers
- Do the right thing-admit, apologize, make it right—financially or otherwise— and make sure it cannot happen again .
And what the experts appear to agree on is that doing the right thing is the best approach. In fact, I was once considered one of those experts in my field, and I still keep an eye on the strategies used in the latest scandals. Today, People apologize and take corrective actions. And you know what? The public usually accepts it. Most people are forgiving by nature. We give others a second chance when they own up to their flaws and mistakes, albeit that we keep a close eye on them for a while after the offense. You remember that look from your mom.
Alas, the DNC is NOT doing the right thing here. The chair is taking a back seat and will probably be out of pocket through the process, or just disappear. The “disappear strategy” is not even on the list. Kind of like a kid in trouble hiding under the bed. And the official response of the DNC, via Hillary’s campaign, has been to shift the blame (like Blame the Chair, Blame the Russians, and somehow, blame Trump. We’ll see about that last one.
People see through blame shifting. We learned to see through it when we were kids too. The problem is that too many people never mature and keep using the strategies that worked when you were a kid into their adult lives. But mature people try not to do the wrong thing in the first place, and when they do and get caught, they value their membership in the community enough to want to earn back trust. Apologizing, learning from my mistakes, pay back those who were robbed, set up a foundation or scholarship fund when financial reparations are not appropriate.
However the DNC will go down fighting this, using the childish strategies that we can all see through. And Hillary will stand above it all, innocent, and shocked, I say, shocked.
And what should our response be as a community?
Make a formal analysis of these emails and hold the DNC accountable. Put their feet to the fire, person by person, in an effort to scrape out the corruption. Hold a national primary election between Bernie & Hillary to see who the Democrats really wants as their nominee. But why stop there? Investigate the Republicans and anyone else who seeks leadership and power.
The real culprits are those with control of money who employ these politicians, lobbyists, and even much of the mainstream media—remember them, the professional news-people working in the media industry is complicit in all this as well. Just read the emails.
Let’s put some people in jail.
If we cannot have fair elections, regardless of your political leanings, what’s the point at all of trying. Why not just accept that an elite group of insiders run this nation and keep the citizens in the dark, claiming we have a representative government and free elections, when the reality is much darker: Oligarchical fascism. Is that what we really want? Oligarchical Fascism?
I am not quite ready to give up.
I’d rather live in the light of truth than the shadows of deception. There may not be much that an individual person can do about it, but I’ll know when the right movement comes along and I’ll back it with all I have. According to Strauss & Howe’s thesis in The Fourth Turning, those movements are already appearing with more on the way. The first action that this humble author is taking is to reject the financial system that makes the corruption possible and investing my savings in real, tangible assets—real estate and precious metals. The financiers of this rigged system will not have my assets for their use as collateral for their lending schemes.
Cut back on your Pokemon Go game, your other video games, Facebook, porn, mainstream news addiction, Barbara Kingsolver novels, sports, favorite shows, junk food, your internet carousing (except for TF Metals Report, of course) and all the other distractions that we use to keep ourselves amused. Bring some balance to your life. Get some education. Read some alternative news. Read a book or several. Become aware. And then do something about this situation, however small your action may seem.
Post your views on your local news webpage after the story. Point out these childish moves by the perps. Write a letter to the DNC or anyone else who ought to listen. Join a protest movement.
This week, those of us those of us who keep the amusement flowing and choose to ignore and forget this story, yes, those people, transform this situation into a self-deception.
Though we suspected corruption and rigging all along, the DNC rigging scandal is big because now it is in the open.
And if you want to get out of trouble at work, or at home, grow up, say you are sorry, and do the right thing.