It is beyond my comprehension how people justify a politician lying to them to be elected.
While working on the Sam Adams Recall Campaign, the most common response I get from people who do not want to sign the petition is “All politicians lie.” Are you serious? Are you seriously that far in denial that you cannot realize the difference between political promises or twisted words, and flat out lies and deception?
Okay, so most politicians do “lie” to some degree, but usually it is based around tax cuts or spending programs, or community improvements. Once they are elected into office though, they realize the difficulties and just how hard it really will be to get those things accomplished. So, it takes longer than expected or they just dont happen at all because it isn’t possible at the time.
What Sam Adams did though, was deny that he had a relationship with a minor (me), and then convinced the minor ( me again) to help him cover it up with the help of people like Mark Weiner. Then he took it a step further, and accused his mayoral opponent, Bob Ball, of running a smear campaign, and being a dirty politician. He publicly accused Bob Ball of making this rumor up, and being a liar. When in truth, Sam was the liar. But he is too big of a coward to admit to what he did, and face the potential consiquences. It was far easier for him to ruin Ball’s political career than it was to put his own on the line.
Then once he was elected, he publicly admitted to “Deceiving to the public to gain his election.” It’s a direct violation of city election guidlines, and furthermore a direct violation of the public’s trust.
He didn’t lie about policies or taxes, or anything to do with his job. He lied about having a relationship with a minor, and then covering it up. And to top it off, he brutally attacked a legitimate, and honest candidate.
Something else I wish more people understood; what it takes for me to be involved in the recall. Just two weeks ago I was collecting signatures at the Portland Saturday Market, when an older gay couple, probably in their 60’s, approached me and yelled, saying “You should be ashamed of yourself!” and “You’re an enemy to gays!”.
So I asked them why I should be “ashamed” of myself, and do you know what their answer was? “Because Sam is our first Gay mayor, and we need a Gay mayor!”
Are you flipping serious? So it’s more important that we have a Gay man in office, than it is to have a mayor with integrity, respect, honesty and loyalty? Personally, if Sam intended on being the first openly Gay man to hold that office, then he should have been responsible to an even high standard of integrity. The Gay card shouldn’t be a get-out-of-jail-free card for him. If he intended on representing the GLBTQ community, then he should have been prepared to be under scrutiny and should have laid a better example of being a gay man. Instead, he lied and reinforced the anti-gay fears that so many people have. So in reality, he didn’t do the Gay community much good, in fact I would go as far as to say he hurt us.
And to top it off, I asked that couple if they realized how difficult it was for me to put myself out there in public, surrounded by hundreds of people who are willing to come up to me and tell how awful I am. Well, I did it because I believe in myself and what I am standing up for. Do they realize how hard that is? When people yell at you, curse at you, and tell you “Just go away”, or “Die!”.
I stand up for what I believe in, and when dozens of people are quick to jump down my throat and tell me what a horrible person I am, that makes it pretty difficult. But still, I do what I know is right. I hoped that my willingness to do so would motivate others to do the same.
Okay, I’ll try not to trip while I get down from this soap box now…