we are social animals.
when leaders fall into disfavor, mechanisms are in play to signal perhaps the need for someone to either step down or be replaced. one of these mechanism “piling on.”
“piling on” can be driven by either conspiracy or ether. once the “piling on” occurs, others get the clue that is is now permissible to say unfavorable things. as the “piling on” process moves forward, the dirty laundry is aired. unlike a smear campaign with falsity, the truth is unchained. many uncomfortable truths become available for public consumption.
both cuomo brothers had their “piling on” moments. vice president kamala harris is in the storm of a “piling on” campaign.
the merriam webster offers a definition “to join other people in criticizing something or someone in usually an unfair way. after the first few negative reviews, all the other critics started piling on.”
what is the notion of “unfair way?” is unfair lying? or is it unfair the volume of complaints. thus, there may have the appearance of group bullying.
the “piling on” with respect to vice president harris perhaps confirmed my impressions of her i developed upon meeting her. at the time, i believe, she was then either us senator kamala harris or candidate for that office.
i met her at a law school event to raise funds for african american scholarships. she was to be honored. this is a small event which is quite intimate. there is the opportunity to mingle with the guest of honor as well as some amazing lawyers and jurists.
my friend, who, at the time, a democratic party candidate, came with me. he sought her endorsement. when he arrived, he noticed that vp harris did not have an assistant with her. he stepped forward and “staffed” the event for her. he took pictures of her with attendees as well as collected their business cards for her. the two of them later on went off to speak. the lack of a staffer was a red flag. at the time, it was something noteworthy.
vp harris then spoke. she gave her accounting of her strategy to arrest parents for their children’s truancy. she went on to describe other measures she took as california’s attorney general. her speech went completely over my head. having sat through calculus and medical lectures, the notion that a speech can be beyond my comprehension is accepted. at the time, i gave vp harris the benefit of the doubt. she must be talking about things beyond me. i did, however, think that arresting parents for children’s truancy was somewhat outrageous. thus, the speech as well raised a possible red flag.
moving forward, vice president harris’ mounting criticism has brought me back to that event. watching a number of vp harris’ speeches and reading about her staff’s displeasure has brought me to realize that perhaps those possible red flags were actual red flags.
this post, however, is not meant to serve as a “piling on.” rather, it is a cautionary tale for those who are in leadership or are seeking political office. while vp harris had willie brown, one of california’s greatest politicians, as her mentor, it is appears that she needed to constantly continue to improve and sharpen her political and organizational skills. everyday a politician must be a struggle to improve and refine. the problems which were evident pre-vice presidency, appear to be the same problems she is currently plagued with. the individuals leaving her staff perhaps fail to see that things are going to improve; they cannot see a bright future on the horizon.
in sum, professional and political success includes the obligation to continue to growth, develop, improve and refine. being a great professional or politician is knowing that each and every new day requires the challenge of being better.
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