American politics at its finest, folks...
On Friday, January 20, 2017, Americans watched as our 45th (and potentially last) president was inaugurated while definitely, totally, certainly, without a doubt, absolutely the biggest audience ever to gather for any event in history watched.
Then, the next day, a (much less fictional) giant crowd of women took to the streets all over the world to show that we want equal rights, or healthcare, basic respect, or some other stupid thing like that. Most onlookers cowered in fear, unable to stand up to the aggressive display of feminine rage they were confronted with, but not one man—American hero, Freeholder John Carman of New Jersey.
Just kidding, this guy is the actual worst. While literally millions of women were out making their voices heard and engaging in the most American act possible (protest), this New Jersey freeholder was sitting at home posting misogynistic memes to his Facebook.
While the historic march was getting underway, NJ Freeholder John Carman posted a meme of a woman in the kitchen with the words “Will the woman’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?” plastered over it. His own, personal comment on the matter? “Just asking?”
Aside from the fact that it’s grammatically incorrect and not even a funny or clever joke—like, seriously, talk about phoning in your sexist comedy—it’s indicative of the massive problem that social media has posed to the political process.
Expectations and Positions
Hillary Clinton drew a lot of heat during the election for her now famous “private and public position” explanation in the debates, but the issue that she raised is that, as much as you might dislike it, it’s a valid part of the political process. What she was describing is a necessity of democracy. Sure, it sounds bad, but in that moment, Clinton was shedding light on a two-fold reality of being a leader in a (semi-) democratic system.
Playing it smart, not shady
In that debate, Clinton was discussing this issue in the context of policy making—describing how, as a politician, you highlight different parts of a bill or regulation to make it appeal to the different groups whose support you’re seeking. It’s the political equivalent of making dinner plans and telling your vegetarian friend that the restaurant you picked has great vegetarian options, while telling your other friend that they have great steak. Both are true, you go there, and everyone is happy. It’s not shady—it’s knowing your audience.