commented on CD-19 Positivity Pledge
2018-06-06 10:42:11 -0400
I am disturbed by the hypocrisy in the above pledge. It is a blatant effort to stifle speech and chill the voices of those candidates for Congress (and their supporters) who are merely calling out the faults of other candidates. How are you defining a “negative attack”? This is so subjective as to be meaningless and prime for abuse – labeling as negative any legitimate challenge to a candidate’s record.
Isn’t what’s more important than the perception driven "play nice’ pledge posted about above is having the candidates take a pledge on issues? For example, how about a pledge that if elected they will unequivocally support and fight for medicare for all, to end subsidies for fossil fuels, to repeal the Trump Tax cuts, to replace funding for the State Department, to cut back on social media surveillance of liberal and social justice groups, to enact real legislation on corporate lobbying, to replace consumer safeguards on the financial industry, to protect our water and air nationwide, to have a higher national minimum wage, and other substantive actions?
Politics is not a safe space. I want the candidates to publicly attack each other’s records because Faso will. I want light shined on them now so we are making informed decisions about who is the best candidate to represent CD19 against Faso. As Salman Rushdie commented, “Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation. In democracies, people get extremely upset with each other. They argue vehemently against each other’s positions. (But they don’t shoot.)….It does matter that people have the right to take an argument to the point where somebody is offended by what they say. It’s no trick to support the free speech of somebody you agree with or to whose opinion you are indifferent. The defense of free speech begins at the point when people say something you can’t stand. If you can’t defend their right to say it, then you don’t believe in free speech. You believe in free speech only as long as it doesn’t get up your nose. But free speech does get up people’s noses.”
At least one candidate who had taken the above pledge has since engaged in negative attacks using skewed and misleading phone polling questions. So much for the pledge.