"How do you live with yourself?" "How do you sleep at night?" "You need to ask God for forgiveness."
It was about four or five years ago when I got all of these questions hurled at me by several people, along with the intimidating "death glares" that they were all giving me.
Now, what had I done that was so horrible?
I was a prosecutor, and I had just gotten a life sentence from a jury on a man who had systematically raped his daughter over a lengthy period of time (which had started about the week he had gotten out of prison for a similar charge, by the way). Although there were meds in the case, and the jury had no problem believing the Complainant, her family had stood by the Defendant.
The girl ended up in foster care.
It was a sad case, and I was feeling pretty damn good about the verdict, to tell you the truth.
And then I ran into the Defendant's family in the hallway. They all had their things to say.
I had a couple of choices available to me:
1. I could try to justify my actions to them, although they would never listen to me.
2. I could apologize to them, even though I knew that the son-of-a-bitch deserved every last minute of a life sentence.
3. I could completely ignore them, and walk with my head down to the elevator.
4. I could have screamed at them all for being lousy pieces-of-crap who had turned their back on a little girl while her own ex-convict father was raping her on a weekly basis.
5. I could look them all in the eye as I confidently walked to the elevator, without responding to a damn word they said.
What do you think was the best course of action?
Since I had so much fun with my earlier Parable this month, consider this my "Analogy".
What's the best course of action for Kelly Siegler on the campaign trail? What should she do when people tell her she works too hard to get a conviction? What should she do when people say that the D.A.'s Office is full of racists? What should she do when she knows that her detractors aren't interested in a damn word she has to say (they just want to scream out their irritations with her)?
I would submit to you that in my situation, the choice of # 5 was a no-brainer.
In politics, the answer isn't quite so clear.