The Politics of Dogs

April 22, 2015 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

You’ve probably heard it said, that on the Internet no one knows you’re a dog. Same also could be said for people’s political affiliations when they’re meandering around the dog park. It’s one of the things I love most about dog gathering places – whether they be parks, beaches or social clubs like Hydrant Club – so long as you clean up after your dog and your dog isn’t a jerk, everyone is welcome. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, what kind of education you have, the kind of car your drive, and certainly not your politics.

Of course, the world loves to pick on folks, and so when someone presents an image of themselves as one thing and then another image appears – especially related to a dog – things can change. Look what happened to Mitt Romney in the last Presidential campaign. He faced the ire of animal advocates when his treatment of the family Irish Setter was revealed. Though it was long after her campaign, Former VP Candidate and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin drew attacks when she lauded her 6-year-old’s innovation when he stood on the family dog to reach the kitchen sink.

And now there’s a new firestorm arising from an old story that’s been brought to light. This time, though, it’s not about the political player but a family member. It appears that Mike Huckabee’s son once killed a dog … for sport. I’d hoped that it was merely another Internet rumor or false meme. Sadly it was not.

Let’s put aside the fact that such cruelty and behavior is noted often as one of the key indicators of developing sociopath, and think for a moment what this type of behavior means from the father. The words denial and failure to be accountable come to mind – teaching the son not only that the behavior isn’t unconscionable but that doing such things is fine because one can get away with it … that there are no consequences.

Sadly the punishment for animal cruelty isn’t all that great. Certainly various states and cities have laws they can enforce, but unless the acts are so massively horrid (and publicized) that they can’t be avoided, or unless there is a tracked, noted and accounted history they just don’t punish people who harm animals nearly as severely as they should. When monsters reveal themselves, they should be punished and those who protect them should be too.


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