Why I am so glad that I didn’t come out

Election night crowd, Wellington, 1931
Image by National Library NZ on The Commons via Flickr

A while ago I was seriously thinking of coming out and getting involved. Like many others I really thought I had something to offer and could make some valuable contribution politically. I was also confident that I couldn’t possibly make a bigger hash of it than some of those already there.
But I didn’t. I toyed with it, I discussed it at home and filled in the forms, even had some clarity on what might happen if I applied.
But boy oh boy am I glad I didn’t come off the pot and try to stand in this election, in any capacity.
The reason is simple: I’m not sufficiently thick skinned.
I may have views, opinions, and even some narrow perspectives, but I’ve realised that I bruise more easily than I used to and the tactics being used in many political arguments now are personal ones. Ones that can bruise, because the truth is that sticks and stones hurt like hell and words can do so, just as well.
So I admire all those who are now out there exposing themselves to personal attack, exposing their every move and gesture to criticism, and wondering if “Head Office” will hear about what they’ve said. I really could not put up with that especially as the media are using all the weapons available to them to create what can only be described as “interesting interviews.”
It’s also one of the great ironies of our political system that you need to be in a party to stand a chance of being elected. But when you get elected, don’t you want to be able to talk about what you believe in as opposed to defending a sometimes unsustainable party line?
So I wish them well. Even the ones whose views I abhor.

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