June 23rd, 2024

Old statements come back to haunt politicians

By Medicine Hat News Opinon on July 25, 2018.

Politics is very complicated. On the one hand, strong opinions need to be possessed in order to show an individual or a party stands for something.

On the other, there’s a line which cannot be crossed.

Some may point to the fact that Todd Beasley’s ousting as a Brooks-Medicine Hat riding candidate for the United Conservative Party last week seemed rather late in the process — with the votes in Brooks July 16 and Medicine Hat July 17.

The vote and Beasley himself have been lightning rods for criticism. Michaela Glasgo prevailed as the UCP candidate

Politicians — potential or established — who want to serve the public, need to represent everyone, every race, gender, sexual and religious orientation while running for office.

So, saying Muslims are “fools who are really worshipping Satan;” or “Islam is not a religion of peace. It’s cruel, revolting, racist, oppressive and has no legitimate basis” isn’t a service to all voters.

The two preceding quote statements are what Beasley wrote on a Geert Wilders supporters’ Facebook page while making a comment about the bombings at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester England in May 2017. Wilders is a Dutch politician who is the leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands.

While politics is about taking a stand and standing up for what you believe in, one also has to realize there’s an element of not having anything which can be easily criticized.

What is perceived behind opinion and attitude is what makes a politicians successful limited. While Albert Einstein once said “Politics is more difficult than physics” it is even more true that one should not say anything which will get you into trouble.

Some critics may say this Beasley situation is a case of overzealous political correctness… it’s not. It is about attitude in serving everyone. In politics, this type of attitude is now needed in order to be a success.

In politics, if something cannot be easily explained in a couple of nifty print-publication quotes or an eight second sound bite… it’s not a even survivable politics. Political parties don’t have the time or the inclination to worry about having to spend time defending the actions or statements of one of their own. In Beasley’s case, the make-up of his comments was too difficult and complicated to try and explain away for party officials…whether Beasley argues about context or not. The words are right there: “fools”; “Satan”; “cruel”; “revolting” and “no legitimate basis.”

Ensuring history doesn’t repeat itself as it did with the Wildrose Party years ago with the infamous homosexuals “will suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell” statement made by a candidate, the Wildrose is now a distant memory. While the UCP should be criticized for not doublechecking more closely Beasley’s comments (which he told party officials he made some controversial ones just not what was written specifically).

When they finally came to light it is not surprising the UCP tried to mitigate the controversy the way they did.

Social media is like a mirror for the entire world to see. What it reflects, will reflect on an entire party and the UCP made the correct choice it did.

(Ryan Dahlman is the managing editor of Prairie Post East and Prairie Post West. Any comments or questions, email to rdahlman@prairiepost.com)

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