High Ideals - Lousy Execution
Often in the cacophony of the mainstream news media, and the polarization of the press that has occurred only within the last ten or fifteen years, well-reasoned, workable ideas from both sides of the poles get lost amid the noise. It is an unfortunate fact for politicians and national groups alike that they are judged far more by their actions than their ideals.
Let’s start with a Canadian example, Pauline Marois. In her efforts to separate church and state, her brain trust (if I dare use that moniker with that particular group) developed a plan that excludes the church all together. The PQ are attempting to something arguably noble, but are screwing up the execution. The exemptions in the bill, for example, make it rife with hypocrisy. They are still allowing the huge cross in their legislature… sorry, National Assembly. They are exempting, too, some healthcare workers and other specially skilled government employees and, of course, exempting politicians. With so many exemptions, one must wonder how the threat of displaying religious symbols in the workplace is such a danger to society that a law is required, but not so bad, it won’t be universally applied. This stance is preposterous. However, as hypocritical, poorly, planned and terribly carried out the Parti Quebecois plan was, their intent was somewhat honourable if you believe, as most do, that religion and politics make a poor mix and best remain separate.
Another prime example of good intentions leading to bad decisions and policies, is the Tea Party wing of the American Republican Party. The group, often vilified as “wingnuts” and “Tea Baggers,” appear to be the only group in the corridors of power actually intent on reducing government debt. They know their present spending trajectory cannot be sustained. However, driving the government into a shut down and possibly a default, is not the way to help achieve fiscal restraint. It reduces the faith in the U.S. financial system and everyone knows the world’s banking house of cards rests on faith. If it affects the U.S. credit rating, as it did the last time they faced their previous “fiscal cliff” crisis, it will make their interest payments even more expensive. The Sisyphean challenge of paying down the debt will be even more difficult. The Tea Party types are dead on the money that the debt is the single greatest threat to the security of their nation. However, the time to be hard-nosed with taxpayers money is when you’re setting the budget, not paying what you already agreed to, which is what the debt ceiling is all about. Using it as a point of brinkmanship with the government is not only counter-productive, but will be political suicide for whoever the voters blame for the impasse.
It’s not just politicians, however, that are guilty of high ideals, but mess up their approach. Let’s look at the NGO’s in the news. Femen, unfortunately, makes it hard to look at that organization when their messages are so often pixilated because they are written on their bosoms. This is a very bad strategy on so many levels. First of all, the gambit is rapidly losing its effectiveness in our modern, vulgar, boob-centric world. Bare breasts are becoming so commonplace, they are losing their power to shock. It’s like the f-bomb. Within the last ten years, that expletive has gained a foothold in seemingly every area of our life. Where it was once kept out of the earshot of the masses, now, it is, sadly for many, almost omnipresent currently in the popular cultures of music, film and stage.
Secondly, baring your breasts to get attention, really only gets attention for your breasts than attention for the message you are trying to relay. This is especially true since, as mentioned, no one can read it anyway due to pixilation. You’d be better off holding up a sign away from your redacted racks so we can see what it is you’re actually trying to draw our attention to. Femen folk might say they must be successful for they often make the evening news, but the point they fail to see is that it is their bouncing bosoms that are what makes the headlines, not their media messages. I, personally, have no idea where they stand politically on anything but I do follow their stories with zeal.
Environmentalists, too, are guilty of many PR errors on their way to trying to achieve their aim of saving the planet from the evil industrialists. How much fuel does the Rainbow Warrior use? Is it appropriate to spike trees which endanger loggers, to make a point about forest conservation? Is it a good strategic corporate plan for PETA to feature pornographic images on their website to lure men to their pages, in order to get them to also view pictures of animal abuse? Apparently, exploiting women is okay, but KFC chickens being mistreated is suitable for shaming.
It is frustrating for the public to know what needs doing in the world and to have organizations dedicated to advancing ways to meet those needs, who continually let poor methodology ruin their goals. The people have come to be very leery of groups of any sort that espouse high ideals but use ineffective, counter-productive, or even simply just stupid strategies to bring their goals to fruition. If the execution is bad enough, even the laudable ideas and goals suddenly come into question. Ultimately, as always, these groups must embrace the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words”.
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