Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mike Allen, Politicians and Apologies

Mike Allen resigned from the Alberta Legislature yesterday after being arrested as part of a prostitution sting.

As is typical for politicians, he came forward with the standard apology (Politician Apology, Version 1.5, available at your favorite business supply store) which contained stock phrases such as:

- this is a deeply embarrassing moment

- I humbly ask for forgiveness

- I will work hard to regain trust

We’ve heard these apologies before, whether from politicians like Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer, evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, etc.

And they all came back bigger and better than ever, at least according to their followers. 

Scorned today – star tomorrow

My personal policy on apologies is based on my simplistic perception of two types of people in the world:

1. The honest type doing the best they can in a challenging world.  They trip up on occasion and make honest mistakes merely because they are human.  An apology from such individuals is unnecessary because they made a normal, human mistake which any of us may have made in the same circumstances.  Anyone claiming to have never made such mistakes is deluded, psychotic or a liar.

2. The dishonest type who make their way through Life taking advantage of others or serving their own selfish needs at the sacrifice of others.  They do things that are unethical, immoral or illegal and continue to happily do so until they are caught.  The obligatory apology that follows rings hollow since more than likely they are more upset that they were caught than for the actual act itself.  Since the apology is therefore often insincere in regards to the reason it was offered, such apologies are unnecessary and in fact, may be insulting to those affected.  Many such people use such an apology to prepare the stage for a comeback later so that they may resume their previously established behavior.

And that is why I find that apologies are unnecessary at best (from good people) and manipulative and deceptive at worst (from less than desirable individuals).

Which camp does Mike Allen fall in?

I don’t know him well enough to say.

I guess what he does in the future will demonstrate the nature of his character and will define the true intention for his apology.

In service and servanthood,


Addendum – July 23, 2013

Case in point.  It was announced today that Anthony Weiner, while disgraced and chased from office in 2011, participated in a new round of inappropriate behavior during the summer of 2012.  It goes to show that people’s actions speak so loudly that you often can’t hear what they are saying.

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