Email hacks have been in the news again, this time in France. A couple days before the election, Emmanuel Macron’s emails were hacked and released to the public. An echo of Hillary Clinton’s email hack, fingers immediately started pointing to Russia as the perpetrators of some crime.
While it may be illegal, I see absolutely zero problem with a politician’s emails being hacked. While I am skeptical of the Russian hacker narrative, if it was Russia then good on them for introducing some transparency to the political process. Whoever it was, I’m thankful for the service being provided. The only complaint I would have is that they didn’t go far enough.
I don’t care what party a politician is or what office they hold, I think their correspondences should be made public. I would have loved if Trump or Le Pen’s emails were released. I would love the release of emails of any politician from small-town city councilors to mayors to governors, senators and presidents. In states where medical examiner is an elected position, I think their communications should be made public as well.
It’s a nearly universal truth that politicians are by in large corrupt, power-hungry liars who take advantage of their office to enrich themselves and their friends. Congress votes to exempt themselves from the regulations they apply to the public, they vote to give themselves longer vacations and more taxpayer money.
I don’t know anybody that truly trusts their government or who thinks the government is doing a good job. Even Nickelback gets a higher approval rating than Congress in a poll by Public Policy Polling. Every time politics is discussed by just about anybody of any political position, it is about what a bad job politicians are doing.
Yet, we keep voting politicians into office. I’m most in favor of transparent political communication because it will either force politicians to start conducting themselves in a manner more beneficial to the public, or the public will see just how bad their elected officials are.
Oppressive governments throughout history propagandize their citizens, and propaganda is fought with truth. The people of North Korea are so propagandized that they believe in the godlike nature of their leaders. North Korean agents in South Korea have had their brainwashing defeated by simply taking them outside and showing them what a prosperous, booming civilization actually looks like.
Nobody would complain if the U.S. fought oppressive propaganda by giving North Koreans the truth about their leaders and their society, yet when hackers show us the misdeeds of our leaders, we wring our hands and consider the politicians victims of outside interference.
In the French election, the emails were reported by some outlets as unreliable, as the hackers allegedly inserted fake emails to discredit and harm Macron’s chances in the election. It’s not a terrible point, hackers can manipulate the records and insert fake emails to make a candidate look like a total scumbag.
However, I think if fake emails are indistinguishable from the legitimate emails, it only goes to show how unfit a politician is for office in the first place. If a politician is an upstanding, honest and honorable individual, faking emails would not work, it would be immediately apparent which are fake and real. When faked emails are just as bad as the real emails, the politician obviously shouldn’t be in their position.
Political office is a public position with many avenues of transparency available for the citizens. However, there aren’t enough. Politicians can easily hide what they do from the public which they answer to. The less places they have to hide their shady dealings, the better. I don’t care who does it or why, but the people should know the truth about their representatives, from the most insignificant to the most powerful.