We are entering an era where more and more newly nominated political candidates will have something regrettable in their social media past, or else be irrelevant. As the demographics change to usher in younger candidates who have been on social media for more and more years, it’ll be increasingly hard to find new candidates who haven’t done anything on social media that might come back to haunt them in the ironically idealistic, but hypocritical, political world. We think and trust politicians less than lawyers and insurance salespeople, yet we expect them to be more politically correct than our role models.
With these candidates with some regrettable social media pasts, people are going to have to start getting used to them, and judge them on the severity of that past rather than presence of any past. That is, was it just a reaction on Twitter? Maybe a post they made to initiate things? Or something private on Facebook someone put out in a more public forum? Or did they have a whole website / forum where they were seriously propagating the unacceptable action? While none of these venues may be idealistically argued to be acceptable, some of these are realistically more forgivable than others. Everybody has reacted inappropriately to a joke. We all have initiated an inappropriate comment. However, that may or may not reflect our views, or judgment when there’s something real at stake, on the matter. Having a whole website or forum to propagate it, on the other hand, that’s a dedicated effort that’s harder to believe one could leave behind.
In some places, people are more used to having new political candidates with flawed social media pasts, like the US now that Shtrump has bought and hacked his way to the to-be-impeached presidency. But at a local level, people will likely have a double standard of their local politicians so pending how politically correct your area is, your area may or may not be more ready for these new candidates with flawed social media pasts. Where I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, we are very traditional and totally not ready for this. Two weeks into an election call and we’ve lost 3 candidates in 51 ridings already! There’s Jad Crnogorac, Bill McEwen and Matt McKnight. I don’t know their full stories enough to comment on whether or not they should have been dropped, or resigned, from their respective races. I’m just saying political parties had better get used to having more supposed “clean” candidates, who they vet, who will have things from their social media past surface that the parties won’t like. The people had also better get used to the same thing and judge what those actions are rather than expecting completely clean candidates. Or else consider voting for someone who’s never been on social media to know what any of it is like, or probably also never used email, either, if they can find one.