Opinion: Surfing the mob

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It is a funny thing, this expressing oneself in a public forum. One takes complex ideas and works to distill them into a few hundred words. If done right, these carefully selected syllables make a point, in the most economical fashion, while retaining a modicum of good humor. If one misses the mark, readers will misunderstand, disagree or worse, disregard the intended idea expressed. It is for this very reason that politics, though alluring for its import (and often salacious subject matter), is particularly difficult to fairly express. But, newspapers may be the ideal place for such discourse – so, we trudge onward.

But if asked should businesses and not-for-profits take a political stand, my instinct is to employ the greatest of caution. Over the years, those organizations in my sway have worked to assert a solid pro-freedom position – whether that is gender equality or religious in nature – but also to know that we do not have the think-tank-capacity to evaluate these political measures in their depth.

Unfortunately, it seems increasingly difficult for even individuals to express a point of view when they ascend to institutional leadership. Some tabloids have taken to printing the names of employers of elected officials with whom they disagree. We can assume retribution was to be the objective. In one recent example, comments following such an online attack article suggested aggressive action be taken towards the grocery chain Kroger. Unfortunately, no one on the long list of supposed wrong-doers were employees of the food company; instead they were from a law firm of a similar moniker. Mobs turn quickly and can be very dangerous. Surfing upon them can be exhilarating, no doubt, but is it worth the risk?

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Opinion: Surfing the mob

0

It is a funny thing, this expressing oneself in a public forum. One takes complex ideas and works to distill them into a few hundred words. If done right, these carefully selected syllables make a point, in the most economical fashion, while retaining a modicum of good humor. If one misses the mark, readers will misunderstand, disagree or worse, disregard the intended idea expressed. It is for this very reason that politics, though alluring for its import (and often salacious subject matter), is particularly difficult to fairly express. But, newspapers may be the ideal place for such discourse – so, we trudge onward.

But if asked should businesses and not-for-profits take a political stand, my instinct is to employ the greatest of caution. Over the years, those organizations in my sway have worked to assert a solid pro-freedom position – whether that is gender equality or religious in nature – but also to know that we do not have the think-tank-capacity to evaluate these political measures in their depth.

Unfortunately, it seems increasingly difficult for even individuals to express a point of view when they ascend to institutional leadership. Some tabloids have taken to printing the names of employers of elected officials with whom they disagree. We can assume retribution was to be the objective. In one recent example, comments following such an online attack article suggested aggressive action be taken towards the grocery chain Kroger. Unfortunately, no one on the long list of supposed wrong-doers were employees of the food company; instead they were from a law firm of a similar moniker. Mobs turn quickly and can be very dangerous. Surfing upon them can be exhilarating, no doubt, but is it worth the risk?

Share.