The convenience of suddenly developing a conscience

Can anyone imagine what could have happened had we had social media in the mid-20th century? We would have been subjected to sneaky video clips of President Roosevelt attempting to get into his wheel chair, or better still of him smoking close to two packs of cigarettes a day and drinking booze at night. How about FDR sneaking to a hidden cottage in the woods on the Hudson to “visit” with his secretary or as rumor had it: his second or third cousin, not sure? What about the shenanigans of John F Kennedy? The back stairs to the White House were used for more than just the butler!  Moving forward into the annals of history: what about President Clinton and The Lewinsky affair (pardon the pun)? Would it have made a difference or did it make a difference to any of these men’s performance as Commanders in Chief? They were boorish, lewd, womanizers, and of course: all men. Did less women vote for them because they at times behaved like pigs? Did it make a difference to the way they took care of the country? FDR saved the country from the Depression and won the war against the evil and horror of WWII in Europe and the Pacific. JFK was charismatic and started the process for Civil Rights before being gunned down. Bill Clinton had the best economy and welfare reform on the books. Pity these guys if they had to run for President today; or maybe not! It seems that today’s biased media only develops a “conscience” when it comes to one partisan group and not another.

I am remembering one of my favorite movies: The American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. Michael Douglas plays the part of the President who got involved with a lobbyist much to the chagrin of his opponent. It is an election year and this opponent is hammering the President on his “family values” because he was a widower with a young daughter, and going out in public with the lobbyist seemed “not on”. I have a point here, it is just a matter of getting to it: one evening the President’s staff bring to his attention the next day’s newspaper headlines: a blown picture of the lobbyist in her college days at a protest rally where the American flag was burned. What Michael Douglas responds is priceless: “Let me get this straight; a woman whom I did not know then, exercised her first amendment rights in a demonstration I had no knowledge of, is now an issue?” This brings us to the situation with a current presidential candidate who eleven years ago, when he was not running for office or even thinking of running for president, was still a private citizen, embarked in common crass locker room banter, in a trailer, while promoting a soap opera star in a business venture. That is a story? Are we nuts?  Rewind the tape: twenty years ago, a sitting President had sexual relations in the Oval Office, denied it, got impeached, and he is still hailed as the greatest guy on earth! Do any of us think that there was no sexual “banter” going on under the Oval Office desk? Is that lewd, mildly lewd, unacceptable, what?  I am not excusing bad behavior with other bad behavior, but I am dumbfounded how we pick and choose what should lay heavy on our “family values” conscience, and who should bear it.  And ladies, please dismount off your prudery high horse : how many of us watch a good looking dude pass by and  not admire his assets? Thank God no one carries a camcorder around me!  I have watched reality shows with more crass and lewd remarks: has anyone watched Hell’s Kitchen lately?

As a nation, what we should be concerned about is not what is said in a locker room but what is being done at the White House to protect us from those bent to harm us. How about protecting the inner cities from urban carnage? Better still: how about protecting the unborn? Pulling an embryo from a body, sometimes sentient, is not lewd enough for you ladies? If you want to be offended how about being offended about that?  I do not see any uproar about killing the unborn who we bring into the world because we can. The right to life and the pursuit of happiness should not be a monopoly of immigrants, it should be mandatory for all human life. How about allowing parents to send their children to good schools of their choice, so maybe, just maybe, our country will stand a chance to compete with the rest of the world? How about making sure that our borders are safe and that only those who have good intentions come and enjoy the land of the free? How about making it easier for businesses to conduct business to employ folk who can hardly make ends meet one week to the next? How about stopping the corruption that has plagued our government and those associated with it for eight years? You want to speak about lewd behavior? How about lying under oath to the American public and getting away with it? Does that not bother anyone’s conscience?

Bad behavior seems to be indigenous to  politics. But what has happened in recent years is not only disturbing but downright dangerous. The utter disregard for truth is masked in partisan quagmire that reaches deep into the sewers of political bias in entertainment, journalism, and social media. With large media giants contributing millions to political parties; the gray lines between truth, exploitation, political gain, power, ethics, and morals are so murky, that we have now become blind and immune to journalists and their bent self-appointed monolithic view of the world and us mere mortals in it. Their smug elite mindset aspires to their single thought process that anything outside their circle of intellectual snobbery is intolerable; we are doomed to be deplorable!  How utterly incongruous of them since they are cheerleaders to the downtrodden, the social purest, the 21st century suffragette, the progressives who march in formation toward a new order, which by the way, counties like Cuba are moving away from. But why? Why shake Lady Liberty into relieving herself of her torch that has been a beacon of hope for so many across the seas? Why try to tweak a system that encourages reward and perseverance in lieu of entitlement and under achievement? Why do they regard success as an abomination unlessof course it is theirs? What do they find so repulsive in the land of the brave and the free that they want to change? Are we perfect as a nation? Not really. Are we am abomination? Hardly. If we were we would not be talking about walls to keep people from coming in because they want to leave their countries. I never heard anyone eager to go and settle in North Korea!

I digress, but everything is relevant in the scheme of things. The convenience of developing a sense of conscience and ethics seems to have become relevant only if one belongs to a certain political persuasion. FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton were regular folk who for some reason had a problem with a simple clothing device called a zipper. Is it mental, genetic, social? Who knows? Is it unique? No. Europeans almost expect their leaders to be involvied in sexual inappropriaty. It seems to add a sense of masculinity to the position. They do not really give it much serious thought. The French and the Italians wallow in political “scandal” but only for entertainment. They do not go digging for it, it seems to “pop” up, and over a glass of red wine or an espresso, they discuss the politician’s prowess and their admiration. Is it funny to hear a politician being lewd or sexually offensive? I really do not know one way or another, but it really should not make a difference on how he intends to lead the country.  He is not being elected Pope. There is no white smoke from the Vatican. He is human. As such mistakes are made and will continue to be made. Should he be punished for his imappropriate behaviour? I think his wife will take care of that?

I do not condone any bad behavior especially when elected to a public office. But what happenes years prior should be irrelevant unless it is a capital offense. Being crude in a trailer is hardly that.  No one should be held to the proverbial flames because of something foolish that was said or done many years prior and without relevancy except to destroy the individual. If we are to hold people responsible and to the highest standards for their entire lives, then we need to start vetting all that are currently serving in the Senate and Congress.  Then we should ask those with weak moral fibre to step down. I am sure that eventually we will be without the Senate or Congress. I wonder if that is a bad thing?

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