|WikiLeak's founder, Julian Assange|
Imagine a politician’s relative who is a very private person. Could be his wife, could be his grandmother. Someone not in the public eye.
Say I decide to gather insights into that little-known relative’s personal life gained by kicking in a basement window at the family home, creeping into their bedroom and rifling through her diary. It says here, on the entry for May 17, that she worries her children are . . . What? Intrusive? Some of you are wondering if I had any right to break into her house and snoop around? How about if I don’t actually break into the house — which for the record, I did not actually do. How about if I just stole some letters to friends after the relative put them out for the postman?
Still bad? How about if I hacked her emails and found some cutting observations about various politicians? You want those?
You see where I’m going with this. The 2016 campaign is so fractious, the standards of civility so degraded, we’ve all overlooked a very bad precedent that’s being set.