Taking civil liberties

What Mel Did - US Elections 2016
Image credit: Melinda Fargo

Although it wasn’t supposed to have gone ‘like that,’ it did at yesterday’s surprising US election 2016 result.

Many shenanigans have taken place during the Clinton:Trump campaign trail, not least of which is an inexperienced-not-qualified-for-the-job person securing, arguably, the biggest job in the world. One would have assumed a higher barrier to entry.

The shock result also includes the damaging message to many girls that the glass ceiling can indeed be broken – if you’re a white privileged male with connections.

That’s the bad in my opinion.

On the good, the manner in which Hillary Clinton conceded defeat at her non-acceptance speech was gracious and noble. Even Trump dialled down the bombast to pay homage to his defeated foe.

My question, then, is why is this not the standard Clinton, Trump and all women and men of public office upheld to? Even in the UK, Prime Minister’s Question Time can sometimes be confused with a knock ‘em out, drag ‘em out brawl on the floor of a sawdusted wrestling gym.

Children, a young person in school, college or university acting this way in pursuit of a goal would not be tolerated. From the moment we bring them into this world, we are required to teach children the merits of good manners and consideration for another’s point of view.

Again, why are our public figures not held to this standard as a mandatory requirement in the pursuit of or holding public office?

It’s not about people being negated from expressing an opinion, but there is worrying destruction when public opinions are played out in threatening and belligerent rhetoric; rhetoric which incites violence and hatred.

The election result might have been the same in the US yesterday had both candidates shown more class and decorum on the campaigning public stage. That said, one of the losers may not have been parents, caregivers and educators left with more of a struggle in teaching children manners and civility. A struggle where we will potentially caution misbehaving and rude children to “Stop acting like the President.”

 

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