Let me get one thing straight right off the bat – I am NOT a politician, nor am I married to one. None of my family are involved in politics, other than the occasional heated debate that arises when certain family members are in the same room around election time. In those situations, I sit back, make popcorn and enjoy the show.
Confession number two – I live in the 21st century. Meaning that, for all intents and purposes, my view of the world is not Leave it to Beaver or Mad Men. I am fully aware that people of both genders are fully capable of having and expressing their own unique, individual opinions.
When you’re involved in politics you’ve gotta consider the situation and consider the source. Like I said, I’m no politician. But I am the spouse of a teacher in a highly competitive field, and I’ve been a teacher in the public school system. Politics are alive and well there, trust me. And there have been plenty of times when I’ve had to bite my tongue – believe me.
How’s that? Well, let’s just say that, when the Spouse was considering a job change and we were at dinner with some of the peeps from the new situation, my first inclination was to step up on my soap box and tell them exactly why their teaching philosophy was wrong. It was. Wrong on several levels. As a professionally-trained musician and former oboist, I had the knowledge and background to fully justify my views. Did I? Heck, no. I smiled and kept my big mouth shut – forcibly with food when necessary. And when it didn’t seem like that was gonna work, I sank my fingernails into the Spouse’s leg under the table. I was fuming. And he knew it!
Why didn’t I share my views? Because, quite simply, like it or not, my behavior would have jeopardized his chances. Likewise when we were out with some of my work supervisors – the Spouse realized that the moment was not right for him to air his true opinions on the nature of their leadership.
Does that make us lesser people? Cowards? I don’t think so. I think it speaks volumes about us – namely that we have common sense. That we care enough about each other to bite the bullet now and then in favor of the other’s career. It doesn’t make me a lesser woman because I kept my opinion to myself. It doesn’t make him a shallow vacuous human being. It means he cares.
Where am I going with this? Hold your horses – I’m getting to that part. See, politics has taken on a life of its own with all of the Tweets, Links, Faces, YouTubes, etc. out there. It’s so easy to anonymously kick the hornet’s nest. Yes, you can do it – but SHOULD you?
I’m speaking of one particular instance here. A local election. Two candidates vying for one position. Different views and ideology. All well and good, right? You’d think so. One candidate builds their platform on open, honest and clean communication. Sounds ideal, right?
Right – except that the candidate’s spouse chooses to kick the ideological hornet’s nest on the opponent’s social media page. In a big way. We’re talkin’ making mountains out of molehills, bringing gender equality into the argument, etc. In general using social media to stand on their personal soapbox and attempt to call the opponent to task.
Call me crazy, but I’m thinking a couple of things:
- If you’re gonna kick the hornet’s nest, have the courage to do it in a public forum so that other voters can see the person’s reaction for themselves.
- Verbally attacking the opponent in a negative, chip-on-your-shoulder kind of way just might not be the best for your spouse’s campaign!!Like it or not, your behavior does reflect on them!!
- Especially if you choose to repost (with pride) your spouse’s comments as a way to point out that your opponent subsequently deleted those comments. Good clean competition? I smell a rat…
- It’s all well and good – in my opinion – to campaign for your spouse in a positive way. But if you have to go above and beyond good taste, showing your true colors as a nasty opinionated person, you might want to reconsider. Just because you can say something doesn’t always mean you should.
- Like it or not – yes, I’m repeating myself – your words and actions reflect on your spouse. I don’t care what gender you are, it is possible to submarine a spouse’s chances and reputation through your actions.
What do you think? Are my views antiquated? Overly sensitive? Or realistic? Should a person feel free to say and/or do anything without considering the consequences on their spouse’s career? I’m opening up a big Pandora’s box here – so comment away. Bring on the debate!!