Politics not for thin-skinned – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

It is called being made fair game. Some say, out there in foreign, “If you cannot take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” TT people say, “Yuh cyant play mas if you ‘fraid powder.”

If you want to be a political animal, expect the opposition wolves to chew you to pieces. It is dog eat dog politics. The social media is geared to smear reputations in full living colour from day one of your sojourn into politics. It is downright nasty, unwelcome and mentally debilitating to have lies or even truths you wish to keep private, out there in full public view. But that is the nature of the politics of the past, the present and the future.

So, how does a minister deal with a firestorm of lies and innuendo, of preferably private information circulating 24/7? Unless it crosses into libel and defamation of character that can be proven, it is best to do nothing.

Retaliating in the same vein is not highly recommended. Deliberate character bashing is, in my opinion, practised by those who believe themselves to be losing political mileage.

It is a desperate attack on your character to make you feel vulnerable. Retaliate and join with the enemy in a display of small-mindedness.

Vulgarity appeals to vulgar people and not all vulgar people are among the less well educated. Vulgarity, in all its manifestations, is a state of mind. Unfortunately a certain amount of social vulgarity is acceptable as part of worldwide political behaviour. Reputation destruction is disguised as media entertainment.

To deliberately set out to harm someone via social media is leaning towards the pornographic.

Those political and other supporters who overindulge, need to check their ability to decipher what is entertaining and what is reprehensible behaviour. I am no prude, but really nice people walk away from the nakedly obscene vulgarity circulating in social media.

Image, political or private, remains everything. Careless behaviour is unacceptable on both sides of the political divide.

Lynette Joseph, Diego Martin.