We are finally standing on the abyss of humanity, waiting for the final nudge over the cliff. Do we now want to state unequivocally that our government reflects our society or is the reverse the situation in which we now find ourselves?
The recent opening of floodgates that are exposing our character flaws is obviously stuck in the “open” position. We are now riding the wave of recriminations, exposees and denouements of once-great men. Daily news cycles indicate that this is merely the beginning of a much larger problem. But this problem has been around since man first crawled out of the salty seas and grew feet. The dormancy of discussions on sexual harassment and subsequent assaults on women and men indicate that no one wants to seriously address this issue head-on. We have had over a year to digest the fact that our current President is a self-admitted Groper-in-Chief. Furthermore, he lacks the basic decency to be ashamed of his lack of judgment and mistreatment of women. What is worse is that this behavior is contagious. Worse still, people knew this about the candidate and voted for him anyway.
Harassment and sexual assaults on women and men is not just a lack of self-control or a powerplay by the rich or famous over people who are neither. It is a total lack of a solid moral foundation which should have been cultivated in youth, but evidently wasn’t. By all accounts, Donald Trump was taught at a young age that money meant power and that people with both could avoid the conventions the rest of us live by. This would exclude living by a strong moral compass and not offending others as we make our way in life. The majority of us were taught that hard work, a solid education and skills were all that were needed to do well in our society. For those who follow various religious creeds, this meant that the virtues of honesty, honor, faith and respect for others were more important than a bank account.
So why are we now seeing a daily spate of sexual harassment claims in the media? The answer is an easy one. For those politicians who berate their voters to follow the Bible, it is hypocracy. For media mogols, they either forgot the lessons of childhood about how to treat others or never learned them in the first place. For those who have issues with debillitating extreme narcissism, treating others with respect is totally ignored.
Sadly, it feels as though we are not the moral creatures we once thought we were. Our court dockets plainly indicate that more people than ever are being brought to justice for theft, lying and other dishonest practices. The fact that the courts will soon be buttressed by court filings of the current Administration stalwarts is not very comforting.
Since we elect officials who never have to take a morals test, we are expected to judge them by their deeds, whether in personal behavior or government service. For many years, people who were divorced had no chance to run for an elected office. It was assumed they had done something really egregious to become divorced. This fact alone could disqualify a candidate. The taint of dishonesty came with that assumption. No one wants someone to lie to them, especially not one’s congressman.
The phenomenon of watching elected government officials respond to a fellow official’s moral lapse is a sad sight to behold. So here is a suggestion for them: When faced with overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing by someone of your own political party, try not to shelter them with words like “if this is true….” And never blame the media for doing its job. When total strangers have to point out your moral failings to you, you need to reassess your life.