How far can one go on Wikipedia concerning a politician?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I have known a Mormon lady for nearly 25 years who I have also worked for the last five or six years I have known her. She had a very well respected retail store with her husband for over 40 years in both southern and northern California. When she was young, she spent time with a very prominent Mormon politician during his college years before he sought an elected position, and he remains a key member of the republican party.

    While she had problems with this person's personality and "dating issues", she didn't have any issues against republicans or conservative viewpoints. Yeah, in the world of dating for the first time, there's more than a few things a jilted girlfriend is likely to say. Yeah, I have dirt but nothing many of us have not been guilty of in our youth. ;)

    However, long before there was an issue with Mormon politicians, made famous most recently with Mitt Romney vs. some born again Christians, she used to always tell me about how this "other" Mormon politician used to devise a long term plan to bring the then, largely democratic Christian crowd to the republican fold. I have read that maybe this Mormon politician formed the alliance which is common today, but how would I make a claim on Wikipedia and back it up if all I have are local news stories from many years ago?

    Normally, I would not care and make an entry and the easily available information would expand on Wikipedia from many readers (some of it useful additions and some of it personal opinion but such is the nature of Wikipedia). But due to the sometimes strained relationships between republican Mormons and republican born again Christians, I am rather reluctant to make a Wikipedia entry a months before Mitt Romney woos born again Christians on the fence.

    I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.
  2. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump

    Well, the articles can be found using LexisNexis (though linking to Wikipedia may be a problem), however, if you don't feel that articles are enough, you'll need original documents.

    I tend to think that local news articles should be enough, though.
  3. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    The devil on Gelfin's left shoulder observes that the short answer is "as far as you like, until somebody else edits it." Such, as you note, is the nature of Wikipedia.

    The angel on Gelfin's right shoulder wants to point out that the purpose of WP is to deliver unbiased information, and that in theory it will trend towards greater objectivity over time, so it's best to not try to inject any agenda to start with, and not to get butthurt (yes, shoulder-angels use that term too) when you do and somebody fixes it, or when somebody overcompensates and some third person fixes it, and repeat until it ends up boring (i.e., not politically useful).

    The devil points out that a Mormon is still a variety of Protestant Christian, and as such it is possible, without straying from the bounds of technical truth, to play up the Christian angle while downplaying the Mormon angle. Alternatively (or, if you're really good, additionally), it might be possible to play on the biases of mainstream Christians against Mormons, so as to make the fundies feel duped by a follower of a competing faith, but if you'd rather Romney get the GOP nomination (not bloody likely) this would require a superhuman level of timing such as Karl Rove signed a contract in baby's blood for about thirteen years ago.

    The angel is suspicious that you'd have any substantial evidence of a super-secret plan delivered in confidence to an ex-girlfriend. He thinks that if the evidence existed and was compelling, it would be out there already without the personal connection, and worries that you'll faceplant if you go too far following testimony from a jilted lover.

    The two agree that local news articles count as citations.

    Additionally, the devil notes that if you don't have anything in your dating history that could amount to sordid gossip, you're too naive to get laid much less be in politics. The angel warily agrees, noting that for that reason, unless there is sexual predation involved, it isn't really cricket to air that laundry in public as a part of any sort of smear campaign. Your payoffs will be limited and not without karmic backlash.
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    if it isn't readily verifiable, then it really isn't wikipedia material....or it shouldn't be. Perhaps it would be better used in a political blog.

    few things damage the usefulness of wikipedia as much as when people use it for political posturing or promoting their particular opinions
  5. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I think at one time, a person's past in their dating life or marriage life was a huge issue, but since Monica-gate, the American people are fed up with it. We want to know the issues. It's just interesting when a Mormon who talks so much about family values so much can't follow his own example. But as for Christians in general in high places of authority not doing what they say is not something we care about so much anymore.

    I think it's one reason who a womanizer like Newt is not too worried about his past from members of the democratic party and opponents within his own party. Herman Cain dropped out early and the general public may have forgave him. What he did was betray his wife but that doesn't mean he will betray his office. Newt did a great job, according to a lot of conservatives, and was absolutely faithful to the nutjob agenda of the far right. ;)


    It's easy when it comes to a close political race to convince a conservative Christian, Mormon or Southern Baptist, to go for a republican who believes in God vs. a socialist. :D
  6. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    Uh, no, it isn't. Protestants do not believe that the separate son of God revealed himself to native Americans and left behind a text that only a white guy could translate. Protestants do not believe that they aren't going to a special higher level of heaven, nor do they believe there are living saints who are closer to God than, say the Pope. Protestants do not believe in multiple earths and multiple Gods. There are some pretty big differences even though their texts use the name Jesus.

    Personally, I don't care, but Mormons are just as Christian as Christians are Jews... or Muslims or Christians. Or Jews. Just because their "version" is based on the same foundation, does NOT mean they are the same religion.
  7. 63dot, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

    63dot thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I agree with you, and at the same time I see these so-called religious people having been successfully wooed by the GOP (the money party, the war party, the rich party) as characterized by liberal Rev. Tony Campolo.

    I think I will keep my views to myself, and of course here, too and leave it off Wikipedia since the last time I mentioned this Mormon politician, I mean republican, I mean, well you know, "person", all the conservatives got very hot under the collar and Wikipedia took it off. Try putting in some of the stories the "liberal press" had about Cain and his alleged mistress or Newt and his unfaithful patterns in life, and before you know it the stuff is either removed or candy coated. The same can be said for anything construed as an attack on a popular liberal politician when made on Wikipedia.

    You can have sources, and reliable ones, but when it positions itself to be too controversial, Wikepedians toss it out. They want an informative site, but also a rated PG site, and one that is certainly stepping on the fewest toes possible. Well, anyway, thank goodness for Macrumors and this section where we can put up anything and it will stay up as long as the sources are good, and also that it doesn't break any decency laws. The parrot on the carrot trick, way back in the early days of MR may have been funny, but a little too much even for us.

    Basically I can say, "Senator so and so, R-Utah, saw the perfect opportunity to bring protestant Christians into the Republican fold since he saw the similarity with Mormons, of which most were republican. It was largely that Senator's idea against the Southern Baptists who were dyed in the wool democrats at the time and originally resistant to the GOP."

    I myself am a Christian in the most basic beliefs (Jesus is God, Mary was a virgin mother of Jesus, Jesus was crucified and came back to life, Jesus performed miracles, Jesus is Savior, etc), but from a family with a long line of Bhuddists and Shintos, then from my perspective, Christianity and Mormonism have far more in common than Christianity vs. Bhuddism or Christianity vs. Shinto.

    I can make a general statement and say a mainline protestant Christianity is closer in every point of faith to a Catholic than to a Mormon, but for most non-Christians around the world (and that's most of the world's population), I would look like I am splitting hairs. I can go on about protestant Christians who are mainline protestants vs "evangelical" Christians vs. mainline protestants who consider themselves evangelicals to a point vs. non–mainline Christians who consider themselves non of the above. ;)

    In the end, I think it was a master stroke for that Utah senator (more than any other U.S. politician) to bring a lot of mainline (socially conservative) Christians into the republican camp. Back in the days of Nixon, Christianity and the south in general, were not warmed up to the idea of the republican party. If I was a republican and a Mormon, and I saw many social conservative Christians (much like my fellow Mormons) go out and vote for Carter and beat President Ford, then I would do everything in my power to woo those Christian voters over to the republican side come 1980. Anyway, in no small part to the Mormon's focus on family values and Christians talking about those same issues in agreement, 1984 saw those former democrats vote for Ronald Reagan. What is ironic is that a big time family values man like him (and other social conservatives like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and now Newt and Herman Cain) have had their issues with the opposite sex. If one or more girlfriends come up against a Mormon politician, and the info makes it to Wikipedia, then it will last there only a few hours at most.

    I think Wikipedia should have the truth on their site, and if Monica Lewinsky was a big issue in the Clinton years, then by all means put up the mistresses/girlfriends/disgruntled ex-wives of conservative republicans. It's as if there is a dedicated cadre of conservatives who are out to censor the truth if it looks bad on them. One doesn't have to look far and see how Fox has completely downplayed the Herman Cain affair and chalked it up to a liberally biased media.

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