[December 6, 2017] In September last year during the U.S. presidential elections, candidate Hillary Clinton referred to supporters of her opponent Donald Trump as “deplorables.” Some say that comment helped doom her campaign. Yet, politicians are not the only ones who say stupid things.
For her campaign, it was one of those moments when clear-headed folks just shook their heads and knew it was the wrong thing to say regardless of circumstances. We need to admit it. Everyone says something dumb occasionally but when you are a leader the dynamic changes. There is the expectation you have above-average social skills and better morals.
Below are just a few quotes from senior leaders over the past week. I would never run out of great quotes but these are a good sampling of what stupid things leaders say:
- Referencing the whirlwind of sexual harassment accusations in Hollywood, politics, and the media, past U.S. President Barack Obama’s advice was that “We need to elect more women because men seem to be having problems.”
- “I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” – U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa
- Commenting on the sexual harassment charges against U.S. Rep John Conyers, Nancy Pelosi, D-California defended him by saying this … “John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women.”
- According to a New York Times writer Robert Draper, U.S. Congressman James Clyburn also defended John Conyers and said, “These are all white women who’ve made these charges against Conyers.”
- Editor-in-Chief of Politico, Blake Hounshell, referring to U.S. Congressman Tom Cotton’s NYT oped that Congress should enforce current espionage laws, said “That time Tom Cotton wrote a letter to the New York Times calling for James Risen and Erick Lichtblau to be put in jail.
- Chanelle Helm, cofounder of Black Lives Matter Louisville, wrote “White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty – Nose Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.”
- Former FBI Director Jim Comey (referring to a plea deal on Michael Flynn) tweeted, “But [let] justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24
… and finally
- Saying stupid things are not restricted to those who can hear because there are those who are hearing-impaired and therefore need a sign language interpreter. Interpreter Derlyn Roberts signed “Fifty-one hours ago, zero 12 22 (indecipherable) murder three minutes in 14 weeks ago in old (indecipherable) murder four five 55,000 plea 10 arrest murder bush (indecipherable) three age 24.” This was all gibberish!
Of course, there are many more and each is a public embarrassment. My personal favorite tact on this type of speech is the light of day. That’s what I’m doing here by publishing them. As John Wayne once said, “Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.”
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- The Hill: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/363059-obama-we-need-to-elect-more-women-because-men-seem-to-be-having
- NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/04/568249242/grassley-ending-estate-tax-recognizes-investors-over-spenders
- Foxnews: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/26/pelosi-calls-conyers-icon-who-has-worked-to-protect-women-yet-backs-house-probe-into-sexual-allegations.html
- The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2017/11/30/conyers-accusers-not-to-be-believed-because-theyre-all-white-women-according-to-dem-congressman/
- Power Line: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/11/liberals-attack-sen-cotton-for-wanting-to-enforce-the-law.php
- Leo Weekly (see number 7): https://www.leoweekly.com/2017/08/white-people/
- Foxnews: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/12/01/james-comey-tweets-justice-bible-verse-after-flynn-pleads-guilty.html
- ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/interpreter-delivered-confusion-florida-news-conference-51559392