Intended and unintended results of loss of moral compass today
From the beginning of the 2016 presidential election and up to today, elements (I refuse to call them humans) have plotted, planned, and carried out a variety of campaigns to smear reputations, revile opponents, and destroy people’s lives. This isn’t particularly about one political party or another. It isn’t particularly about one rag news outlet or another. It is about the moral breakdown not just of a generation such as millennials but even those older generations.
When do we as citizens and as humans cross a line? Is it when we choose to see life as a threat against us? Is it when we crave visibility and acceptance? Is it when we receive payment for whatever wild substantiated or unsubstantiated claim we wish to make? Is it when we make real issues like harassment, bullying, and sexual attacks so common that they become trivialized and dehumanize them or their tragic effects on people’s lives?
We see where children or adults beat up on, bully to the point of death, sexually abuse, murder and other things in the news on social media and across the media outlets now more than ever. Why? Is it that these things are important to combat? Yes they are. Is it that lives can be forever changed? Yes they can. Is it that we have a moral imperative to protect and provide understanding or help to those who are victims and perpetrators? I hope so.
But what does it say when those in the eye of the public who are in positions of recognized authority make uncorroborated allegations or bring destruction to families for their monetary benefit or simply five minutes of fame? What does it say when someone takes a chance meeting long since faded from memory as a basis for a plan to remove some obstacle from their path for political reasons? Memories that even if true have a time limit for bringing to justice, that are based on an adult view of a child’s memories, or cannot usually be followed up with facts and evidence.
For many years, while employed in different companies I went through a lot of training sessions on sexual harassment and bullying in and out of the workplace. There were ways to report and available hotlines as well as counselors, emergency physicians or enforcement that were available. I also was more than well aware that many who needed these services were ashamed, unwilling for fear of retaliation, or abused mentally to the point they simply believed it was their fate. It fell to me as an educator to also find ways to acknowledge, discuss, or report both.
But what does it say when these very serious issues are bandied around publicly and blown out of proportion not to emphasize the reality but as a weapon against someone? What does it say to those who are in real need of help who see such heartbreaking, life changing events trivialized for one purpose – destroying a target not for the action but for politics?
When and where do we draw the line?
First and most recent is the story of one Republican state representative who received allegations of misconduct not from the recent past but from five years ago. He committed suicide.
Was the incident true? I have no idea. Certainly not if the local press video is heard. But if handled properly this would not have been smeared across the news until or unless proved true. Considering the span of time between the incident and today, I seriously doubt there exists a shred of evidence especially given rape was not involved.
But what the public had no knowledge of despite the representative’s rise and successful career was that he had been living with PTSD ever since his return from overseas combat according to at least one account. He had for the most part conquered it and had made valuable contributions in his life since those days. Yet one politically provoked action, publicity-seeking attack came crashing down and broke through those scars.
The tragedy for the victim is that a 12-year-old did not seek help at the time or believed sexual advances and groping were a way of life such that it went unreported then when something could have been done. The tragedy of the accused is that their names and honor become besmirched forever if it was a made-up or overblown incident. The public only sees a snippet of time. They generally never know what the back story was but condemn only on the media words. Fake, exaggerated, or vindictive media accounts have had tragic results over time.
The tragedy of perception is that bullying either the victim or the accused both privately or in this case very publicly is somehow okay. The tragedy is that people gleefully write about or speak about allegations that may have no foundation in truth. The worst tragedy is that for some reason a person was attacked in this way for political expediency rather than to right a wrong.
We are seeing this now play out in the halls of congress–a place we expect to have people of good conscience and morals–deliberate over issues that affect our country. Instead we are seeing these people viciously bully and pick apart the carcasses of their expedient sacrifices for political gain.
They are sacrificing their own party members such as Franken and Conyers just so they can find a path to forward to rake the current president over the coals and diminish his effectiveness as the duly elected leader of our country. A quick disclaimer here — I have serious concerns about both men and their capacity to lead in congress but I believe it should be based on their abilities and actions not as a means to a political end. Were I they, I would be mortally wounded if the party I worked within chose to place be my name as one of their sacrifical lambs on the altar of expediency.
Nowhere is it more apparent the Democrat Party that has degenerated into the gutters of politics in the last forty years than through their constant efforts to destroy a sitting president or pour vast amounts of money into their efforts to sacrifice our country on the altar of global government rule. Their members have become more communist-leaning each year and their actions more egregious, immoral, and illegal in their downward tumble.
Where does this all end? When do we say enough? How do we move forward and set a better standard for our children when we ourselves are such bad examples?