Friday, July 11, 2014
NEVER BE AFRAID TO DO THE RIGHT THING
(Editor's note - this post is written by one of my colleagues on the SCDP Executive Committee, Corey Strong of HD 91. I have been impressed with his abilities for some time, and support his candidacy for State Executive Committee, District 33. This is in reference to an attempt on Wednesday night to reopen and reconsider three of the judicial endorsements. He voted to do so, I voted against. I include this because I thought he made excellent points here.)
When I got to my first ship a decade ago, my Captain told me a story about an important lesson he learned as a junior officer. He was given a very large assignment that involved a great many sailors moving equipment onto a ship. He made a mistake that led to the equipment being loaded in the wrong way. That mistake would require a great deal more man hours and rework and some weekend working days just before a major deployment for the ship. When he discovered his error, he informed his Captain of his mistake and how he would correct it. His Captain was not happy about the error but appreciated that he discovered, owned, reported, and CORRECTED his error. Had he not done this, the ship would have deployed unprepared which is an unacceptable outcome. The lesson to me was that you will make mistakes but the pain of correcting is far worse than the pain of not.
I could not help but think of this at Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the County Party. We were presented with at least a few potential mistakes that were made during our judicial selection process. I am not here to absolve the candidates that did not receive the nominations because they certainly could have done more to ensure they received the nomination. Nor am I here to argue whether or not we should have endorsed candidates at all. What I am here to say is that the SCDP has an obligation to correct mistakes if and when they are made regardless of how painful that correction may be. We have promised to promote qualified and worthy DEMOCRATIC candidates. If we are unsure of the worthiness or qualification of a candidate, then we should avoid promoting them or remove an endorsement when one of those things comes into question. When you correct a mistake, the short term pain will always be small compared to the long term injury that comes from not correcting it.
It was clear that there are many people on the Executive Committee who are too concerned with the short term consequences to do the right thing and correct a potential mistake. Many people commented that we would look like little kids if we did not stand by our decision. I argue that we look like little kids if we are unwilling to correct a mistake. If you broke something when you were a child, you hid it. If you something went missing, you lied about it. If you got in trouble at school, you blamed your classmates. But most of us got older, and left those habits behind because we understood that there was a greater duty in life than avoiding uncomfortable situations. Some of us are still content looking at a mess or ignoring it because they don’t want to deal with the scolding.
Every day, major companies like GM ignore mistakes that cost people lives and cause them injuries. We are appalled when that mistake is allowed to persist. What if my Captain was afraid of a scolding by his superior and never corrected his mistake? He would have put lives in danger and he could not live with that. We are seeing in our city government what happens when you stick with a bad decision and it comes back to haunt you later. Here, members of the Executive Committee are afraid of a scolding by the media if we change our minds. (SIDE NOTE: This is the same media that is clearly owned by and generally catering to Republicans which makes all attempts at satisfying it fools’ errands. They are in it to sell papers and air time. Therefore, we should NEVER make decisions to avoid bad press because the SCDP is ALWAYS going to get bad press. ) Meanwhile, we are ignoring the real possibility that we may support a candidate that is unqualified or unworthy. That decision would bring 8 YEARS of discredit to the bench, undermine the judicial process for our citizens, and dilute the value of our SCDP nominations in the future. I can deal with a few CA and Channel 3 stories this July of 2014 if it avoids many potential stories and injuries in the years to come.
I understand that this process has been long and tedious and realize that taking ownership of our mistakes is a hard lesson that most of us struggle with all the time. But as a county party, we cannot waiver from that responsibility. We have to do the right thing when that is called for as it is always our name that is at stake.