Before I unload on WikiLeaks, let me make myself clear:
I don’t care much for Hillary Clinton.
I can’t stand many of her ardent supporters, who frankly, can’t stand me either.
As a buddy of mine said about the election: “I don’t like Trump much, but I know Hillary hates me more.”
We conservatives pride ourselves on calling something as it is. We harass President Obama daily for his inability to say “radical Islam.” We openly mock the gender monsoon of pronouns offered to students; we deride politicians who call taxes “revenue.” And yet, we’re A-OK with calling theft of personal information, a “hack.”
That’s how I feel, and think, too. Why support someone who despises me, my beliefs, and my contributions to society?
But it still does not make WikiLeaks — which is currently targeting Hillary’s campaign — okay.
“Hacking” is jargon for theft.
We conservatives pride ourselves on calling something as it is. We harass President Obama daily for his inability to say “radical Islam.” We openly mock the gender monsoon of pronouns offered to students; we deride politicians who call taxes “revenue.”
And yet, we’re A-OK with calling theft of personal information, a “hack.”
No kids, it’s “theft.” And, if it were happening to someone you like, you’d be screaming at the top of your lungs.
Lucky us, it’s only happening to Democrats!
Thus we see the consequence of team sport politics. We hate goons on the other side, but we love our goons nonetheless. For now, WikiLeaks is our goon.
For now. Until that goon comes for you.
It’s the crocodile that eats you last.
Now there are some lightweight thinkers who simplistically recite this common ruse: “if you have nothing to hide, then hacking should not bother you.”
That is hardly the point.
First of all, if you have nothing to hide, then you’re a hopeless bore. Every interesting person has stuff in their heads and in their pasts that make them perversely human.
Second, it is not up to you to decide whether their personal communications are YOUR property.
Emails are as private as private can get: it’s when people talk about their lives, their loves, their hatreds, their petty opinions, their desperate pleas for forgiveness, their wild drunken boasts, their racy poems, their intimate grief, their sullen sign offs and boozy flirtations.
As to the argument that WikiLeaks is performing a service that our mainstream media has abdicated — does that mean you’d prefer the mainstream media to steal people’s emails, too?
What’s offensive is not what’s in those emails, but that one would be “offended” by private info you happen to be picking through as if it’s a bargain bin at a record store. If you’re upset about some stranger’s feelings expressed in an email about religion, then that’s on you for invading that person’s privacy. You aren’t God. You aren’t supposed to see everything.
And … how dare anyone comment on the “tone” of an email? So, are we now all supposed to adjust our private thoughts and feelings based on how someone else perceives our “tone?” It’s none of anyone’s business, and it’s frankly creepy that anyone would care about tone in something that ain’t your business.
Fact: if you’re remotely interesting, this invasion WILL happen to you. Trust me.
As for the argument that we have a right to invade the personal sock drawers of public servants as an issue of transparency, then that means we can apply that to all arenas of work.
Take media. You could say that, “because we get our information from these servants of media, we should know what they really think behind closed doors.” So, “hack them.”
Take health care. We trust doctors and nurses with our lives, so “we have every right to see what they think behind closed doors.” So “hack them.”
Take gas, electric, auto, or oil company employees. The left might see them as causes of climate change, so “we have every right to see what they think behind closed doors.”
You’re in the military? If you’re supporting the war industry, then I have a right, etc.
You can apply this logic to anyone, and everyone.
Ben & Jerry’s products cause obesity — which leads to premature death. — I wonder if they ever discuss that in their private emails!
The Catholic Church claims their pope is infallible — well, I want to see HIS emails!!
And, if you happily announce, for lack of a coherent argument — that “who cares — this is a new era! Privacy is dead!” — you do so under a cloud of ignorance.
And, even more important: you are banking on your own failures as a human.
For if you think you’re safe from the prying eyes of the media, political groups, spies and thieves — it’s only because you think your life is worthless. You somehow believe that no one would want anything from you: you’re boring, insignificant, a piece of nothing floating in the atmosphere.
Yep, you conclude, people only “hack” important people.
The fact that you don’t care about these violations is a reveal of how little you care about yourself.
And that’s a big mistake. For if you communicate with others, about things, about life, about whatever — someone will find value in it — either on purpose or accidentally.
Look at Ken Bone, that seemingly decent nobody who happened to ask a question at the last town hall-style presidential debate. Catapulted to fame — all 15 minutes of it– he ends up being exposed as a guy who leaves comments on porn threads. Turns out he likes to talk about porn, and his vasectomy. And that’s now a story that he must deal with because America suddenly took an interest in him, and therefore a prurient interest in him, too. It was as if Gawker never left us.
So, if you applaud WikiLeaks now for their decision to publicize the contents of stolen emails handed over to them, in all probability from Russian actors, pretend for a moment that those emails belonged to you, or your dad, or your mom.
If you state you have nothing to hide, then either you’re lying or the least interesting person on earth.
I hope, for your sake, you’re lying.