In my news feed this morning, I read story after story of how one person or another was walking back their latest comment. I say something, you say something and we all walk it back. Does this sit well with the masses? Its like we are left with a set of purple bruises on our arms. Let’s mull this over.
Did Pence really mean Putin was a stronger leader than Obama? Nah. Did Clinton mean half of Trump’s supporters were deplorable? Nah. Did Justice Ginsburg truly mean that this country would be horrible with Trump as President. Probably but she still walked it back somewhat. Did the Brexit leaders truly want all that is about to happen? Eh? Not so much as many now are walking back their Brexit promises. Did Trump mean all Mexican immigrants were rapists? Na..wait. Hmm. I’m not too sure he walked that one back. But you get what I mean. Although, I did find an article that Trump has shattered world records in the number of his comments he has walked back. In this piece, I am not passing judgment on the comments all these and 100s more politicians have made the last few months that they are walking back. It would take ages to go through each and the comments speak for themselves that is until they are walked back.
My main question is what does all this walking back mean especially considering this nation doesn’t liking walking at all? Ok. I got literal there. Didn’t think I’d be completely serious on this topic, did you? It’s not my style. Point is no one is serious anymore about anything they say.
I hated being a young kid growing up in the South Bronx because I was constantly picked on for being the smartest girl around (or the fact that I knew I was the smartest girl around). Despite the rough and tumble South Bronx streets there were still rules we all adhered to. I remember when I was younger we had a phrase that we would use in the playground. It was “no take backs allowed. ” Actually, it was more than a phrase, it was a rule to live by. Whether you gave out a gift, a compliment or your word there were no take backs. Once you put something out there in the playground, you couldn’t take back your words. Even in the playground, one’s words had meaning and some semblance of honor.
There was also the sense that you got no do-overs. If you messed up, you messed up. Those were the hard knocks of life. And you know what? When I got knocked down (or rather I messed up), I got back up and tried to not get knocked down again. What is this do-over society that we now live in?
The funniest thing about this take-back (or as media pundits call it “walk-backs) culture (which I dare to call out as an epidemic), is that it is occurring in this age of the smartphone and social media. In the playground of my time, we didn’t have the smart phones to record what others were promising. Nowadays, you can’t use a restroom without a phone bring in your hand or pocket. (ewww by the way). Point is your words will be circulating two seconds later for all to hear. How do you walk that back? The even funnier (and by funny I mean sad) part of this situation is that even with the cameras on people try to deny what they said. Do these people even know what technology can do?
Here is a proposal. Let’s take these politicians and put them all in a playground. Let’s then give them the playground rules of:
1. Fight fair
2. No take backs
3. No do overs
You live and die by your words.