I count myself as someone who fiercely advocates for the free speech portion of the first amendment, you can say stupid things. I have full faith in an informed public using their free speech to tell somoeone what they said was stupid and why it was stupid. That’s the checks and balances of the system. It’s functional. It is most prevelant in modern American politics. Nasty things are said, hyperbolic and combative rhetoric rule the day, and the volleys come equally from both sides of the partisan isle. We even have new phenomenon of it being done within the political parties during primarary season. This culture has come under harsh scrutiny in the state of Missouri in the wake of the suicide of state auditor and Republican gubernatorial canadite, Tom Schweich. Sparking fierce condemnation from the local media of John Hancock. Hancock had recently been accused of starting a whisper campaign about Shweich’s Jewish heritage. To which, he says it may have been brought up, but not under the pretense as a slight towards Schweich and denies any plans to launch a whisper campaign.
To be frank, no one is buying Hancock’s defense. With no facts or evidence presented, he has been completely condemned and blamed for the self-inflicted actions of Tom Shweich. He has been branded a bully. Hancock has, in some minds made Schweich a martyr, for a crusade against bullying with Hancock as the villain. When really, he was playing run of the mill politics. Maybe that is a problem in our political culture, but many a fortune has been made that way. So, I can’t see it leaving easily.
To be even more frank, I don’t know what happen—I’d wager very few do. A prominent member of politics and religion cast a strong condemnation on the political climate, calling out whisper campaigns by name. He is certainly entitle to, but it’s a curious turn for the political left in Missouri to use religious figures, whom they tend to mock and despise, to promote their narrative. But, those things happen in the midst of a paradigm shift. Those in the know, know Rev. Danforth is more than just a religious figure. Right or wrong, John Handock’s career is most likely over, and the call for that came from a pulpit. Lines are beginning to be blurred here.
This story continues to raise questions and breed resentment. It seems all too convenient.
“I can’t know what was going through Schweich’s head any more than I say what was in Hancock’s heart.”-Bill McClellan
Update: you can read Bill McClellan’s piece on the house. What a buncha mensches…
That was the only sensible and measured defense given to the whole matter. It’s the truth. And anyone claiming to be able to know someone’s heart should be questioned, that is the process. How do you know what’s in his heart? When did you discover this nefarious hidden bigotry?
Skeptical observers have called this a ploy to tighten restrictions on political public discourse. Time will tell. All one can really do at this juncture is pray for those so affected by this tragedy. At the same time, perhaps we should hold off on the witch hunts, for a while.
Update: there already calls for Hancock’s resignation. Examples must be made…