We’ve become a win-at-all-costs society, especially when it comes to politics. Both sides are guilty of this. There’s a prevailing mindset that “my crappy candidate is still WAY better than your crappy candidate.” The problem with this is that it excuses bad behaviors, even criminal ones.
U.S. Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte was running for a seat in the state of Montana, when during an interview earlier this week he got angry with a reporter’s questioning and decided to body slam him. Here was the audio.
The question itself was pretty tame, something about the CBO. But that’s a moot point really. Unless the reporter asked him something evil or sinister about his family, Gianforte had no right to assault the man.
Gianforte’s team tried to downplay the attack but it was too late. Audio had surfaced that clearly depicted the reporter, Ben Jacobs, getting assaulted and Gianforte yelling at him even after the incident.
A Fox News journalist who was in the vicinity when it happened says that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground.”
It’s easy for voters to get caught up in the emotions of an election cycle—I’m the first one to admit being guilty of this—but when it results in throwing your principles out the window, that’s just a darn shame.
Of course, when this kind of thing happens the other side clamors, “you have a MORAL obligation to vote for our person now!” No we don’t. Just, no. Politicians are not religious deities. There’s never a clear-cut “moral” choice—unless one candidate is eating babies or something.
So what does this all mean? Politics is hitting new levels of disgusting. You have one side justifying physical violence as a means to an end, and the other side trying to score faux-morality points from it. It’s all total and utter garbage, and it ain’t gonna get better before it gets worse.
The only semi-solution is to have all major party leaders join together and condemn all criminal behavior from entering the federal government. Of course they won’t do this because they need those precious seats, and politicians are all inherently weak people who just want to be popular at all costs.
Until this happens, more garbage like this will occur. Voters aren’t to blame. The top brass politicians need to stand up and condemn these behaviors, setting an example for the rest of the country to follow.