Words matter. Ask President Donald Trump, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Debbie Wachspress. A slip of the lip, a racial or ethnic slur, a dirty joke – such words both hurt and haunt. Ask any politician who has been side-swiped or brought down by words, an epithet, said yesterday or years ago.
This week, Ms. Wachspress ended her congressional campaign after alleged offensive remarks she made in 2018 surfaced in the wake of a discrimination suit filed by two former teachers against the Pennsbury School District, administrators, school directors, including Wachspress.
The current Pennsbury School Director, Wachspress, was a candidate for the Democrat nomination in the 1st congressional district. She withdrew from the race Thursday, amid public denunciations, leaving the field open to her Democrat primary opponent, Christine Finello. (The winner of the Democrat primary will face incumbent Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican.)
Withdrawal was unequivocal, according to a press release from her campaign this week. In part, Wachspress attributed her decision to protecting her family from an “offensive and completely false narrative of who I am.” She also called the accusations against her “lies and distortions,” and felt they would be a “distraction” she could not overcome.”
Unfortunately, in the case of the school director and would-be nominee, her words mattered and were damaging to the accused and the accuser. Wachspress was forced to give up a dream and left to explain… something unexplainable.
If the allegations are true, but we believe people make mistakes, there’s an opportunity for redemption and a lesson to be learned about the power of words. -PW