Turning a Blind Eye
It constantly amazes me when so many of our fellow citizens turn a blind eye to reprehensible conduct in those we have elected to public office. This is especially true when we would be ashamed of the same behavior by ourselves or family members. We need to ask why we are willing to condone such conduct by our leaders when we wouldn’t tolerate it from those closest to us.
What is the difference between knowing that someone in office has publicly and intentionally lied on a consistent basis in order to deceive us, or committed serial adultery, when such acts wouldn’t be acceptable if your own spouse did the same thing? Why are such actions OK by the one and not the other?
Is it because those leaders are espousing or implementing policies and programs we know are reprehensible but which we secretly, or not so secretly, applaud? Perhaps they are demonizing individuals or groups who we, in our heart of hearts, feel threatened by or are afraid will want to be treated as our equals, or maybe even move next door to us or attend our schools.
Apparently, too many of us are more than willing to live by this double standard. But it is exactly this sort of thinking that’s hollowing out both our democracy and the ethical underpinnings that have been our nation’s backbone.
In effect, this is what we are teaching our children is acceptable in our nation’s daily life. The problem, as I see it, is that they are going to begin believing this is also the standard they can abide by every day. If the adults can get away with it then why can’t they do the same, right? So, we need to hit the pause button and take a moment to think about what’s happening.
We just can’t continue to have it both ways.