“Lisa Jones” is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.
A recent review of the news shows us that the Pat McPherson saga is continuing and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. His continued refusal to resign has been highlighted in the media since the Friday Board of Education meeting. He’s not winning the social media war, either; those hoping he resigns have a very active FB presence, with those who “accept his apology” (which is catchy title for a FB support group, I must say) nipping at their heels.
It’s the usual thing that happens in these types of situations: One side of the GOP says he should resign, because he’s hurting our brand. Then the counter says that Dems are racist (sexist, ageist, add your –ist here) and they never resign, so why should he? And then the kicker…yes, but we are Republicans, and we have higher standards.
That may be true. And that may be the exact way that I would prefer it, and many of you. But I have to ask myself: does his resigning really get us anywhere at this point? And are we, as a party totally, shooting ourselves in the foot by holding ourselves to a higher standard?
This has already made the highlight reel. We still get the names of those whose statements made us cringe (like a Todd Akins or a Christine O’Donnell) thrown in our face. Admittedly, not the same situation, but the point still stands–we carry them with the brand forever, with the help of the mainstream and social media. So what do we gain by losing seat on the State Board of Education for the sake of our image? If it’s not going to make a difference in how we are perceived as a party, at least in the media, do we need to still hold ourselves to these higher standards?
What would have been more interesting, or perhaps, really opened up a conversation on our “-ist” problems, would have been a statement from our public officials that said, “The use of this word is reprehensible and we don’t support using it–ever. But as everyone knows, people we support sometimes screw up and say things that embarrass us. The Democrats had this experience with Chris Jerram (or Joe Biden, or Ernie Chambers, so on). These are learning opportunities for all of us.”
Instead, we created a situation where some officials say resign, some say they aren’t getting involved, we see daily arguments in our Facebook feeds–on and on. We divided our own party by holding ourselves to a higher standard than the Dems clearly feel is necessary. And we will pay that price, regardless of whether he resigns or not. Is it worth it?