I Hope You’re All Offended

I have no intention of apologizing for this, nor of apologizing for something without knowing what it is I am apologizing for. But apparently that is not so for at least one politician.

The CBC reports that “Federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn has apologized for a joke he's not sure he made, responding to a complaint from a politician who didn't hear it.”

You cannot get more insincere than apologizing for something when you don’t even know, or apparently care, what it is you are apologizing for.

The politician clarified his apology by stating “"I have never, ever in my life intentionally said anything that would offend anybody, and if I did on the weekend, I sincerely apologize because it's not what I do, or how I do it,"

I have great respect for politicians and government and even countries that can admit that they are wrong and sincerely apologize for it, because it was wrong. It is an indication that they have reflected on their words or actions and learned from them.

I have little respect for politicians who are so afraid of offending someone that they apologize without even knowing what they are apologizing for.

The problem with that attitude is that the easiest way not to offend anyone is to do or say nothing of significance. It is the election strategy of getting elected by offending the least number of voters rather than attracting the largest number of voters. It is a strategy that leads one to support the status quo rather than rocking the boat with new ideas. It is a battle that is being fought out today in the United States Democratic Party primaries between the candidate who has experience with doing things the way they have always been done and the candidate of change, however undefined that change might be.

While Mr. Hearn's apology might have been initiated by jokes during a speech it reflects a broader mindset.

With the state of the world today. We need change. We need new ideas. New ideas will always offend some people. We do not need politicians with a mindset that says that the most important thing is not offending people.

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