August 30, 2018
Not Lowering the Flags for McCain Right Away? I. Just. Can’t. Even.
Have you ever been in a real courtroom or watched a courtroom drama on television and heard the judge ordered the jury to “disregard” whatever was just said in open court?
If you’re like me, you think, “no one can unhear that.” Despite the judge’s request, the words loom large. It doesn’t matter that the utterance should never have been said out loud. As they say, you can’t unspill milk.
That’s how I feel about reputation in general. You get a few times in life, if you are lucky, to reinvent yourself. If you move, for example, you can use it as a way to get a fresh start in a new place with people who are meeting you for the first time. Similarly, a new job or going to college often present similar opportunities to begin again…to reinvent yourself.
It’s with that in mind that I just don’t understand President Trump’s decision — at first — to refuse to lower flags to half staff in honour of Senator John McCain’s passing. Eventually, he agreed to honour the American hero, the way every modern-day president before him has done when a member of Congress has passed.
But we’ll remember the hours when the flags flew high. We can’t unsee that.
Of course, we know that history is not kind to people in lofty positions who fall short of our expectations. President Bill Clinton…well, I needn’t elaborate on this point. We all know that Clinton will be known for a lot of things, positive and less so. And, he will always be the man who “didn’t have sexual relations with that woman.”
But did. And we can’t un-know that.
The issue is simply this: it’s true you only have one chance to make a first impression. It’s also true that you have day after day after day to put yourself in a better light. You can’t disappear a grievous mistake, but you can learn from it and try to do better. You can try to reinvent yourself.
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