It’s Not About You, Elected Officials

Throwing a pie at an authority figure, politician, or celebrity is a means of protesting the target’s political beliefs, or to highlight hubris or arrogance in the target’s character. An editorial is a more civil, but not always more effect, tool. (That's not Seth McKeel in the photo.)

Seth McKeel responded yesterday to a critical Ledger editorial with this preamble:

In response to The Ledger’s editorial “Florida Legislature: Blame Legislators For Cuts,” I take personal offense to the accusations and unfair remarks levied at me by the editorial board.

First of all, he should actually take professional offense. I don’t think anyone addressed his personal life.

Second, it’s telling that his offense is the lead paragraph of the letter. Public policy is a secondary consideration.

Third, I can’t imagine anything more irrelevant to the job politicians are elected to do than “personal offense.” The people who elect officials do not exist to make those officials’ aspirations of greatness come true. Nor should they determine a politician’s public mood. Republicans got virtually everything they say they ever wanted out of this session, and then one of them has to whine that some people object? Suck it up. It’s not BoysState up there.

If the words “I take personal offense” ever emerge from my keyboard in response to a critique of something I’ve written, even if it’s a dumb or dishonest critique, I’m asking Chuck to fire me on the spot from my unpaid gig.

I suspect many teachers take personal offense at the rhetoric that conservative politicians routinely engage in. I suspect many people who treasure Florida’s natural appearance take personal offense at this session. Many conservatives who despise the CSX/Sunrail deal take personal offense at its continued existence. So what? Life’s hard.

Get in line, elected officials. If you want to avoid personal offense, come home and leave the job to grown-ups.

4 thoughts on “It’s Not About You, Elected Officials

  1.  My favorite is how every email response from McKeel begins by explaining how only he has the correct facts and you are, in fact, stupid.  Maybe I am, but then again,  so might he be.

  2. Once you find out how much the “Freedom PAC”  controlled by Dean Cannon also an alumnus of LHS, one can determine  how “personal” all the issues are…follow the money!

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