I love America for allowing different points of view and encouraging individuality. I've said many times that Republicans aren't right all the time and Democrats aren't wrong all the time. It's foolish for us to act as if our point of view makes us always right and the other guy always wrong. Having different views is a good thing. But having different standards is not.
If something is right, it's right. If it's wrong, it's wrong. Diversity is a good thing; duplicity is not.
Having different rules based on a person's gender, ethnicity, religion or political party creates cynicism and distrust and precludes problem solving because it prohibits the trust necessary to work toward a solution. If it's wrong for Republican Joe Wilson to shout "You lie!" on the floor of Congress, and it was, then it's equally wrong for a Democrat like Alan Grayson to say that his Republican colleagues in Congress want sick people to "die quickly."
Joe Wilson apologized and then was censured by the House; Alan Grayson was belligerent and Nancy Pelosi found nothing wrong with his comments because in "Nancy-land" there are different sets of rules for Republicans and Democrats.
Some Republicans pounced on Bill Clinton for his personal failures, but were painfully quiet regarding the same sins of members of their own party.
Some things are either right or wrong. It doesn't matter who does them. When Hollywood hero Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl and then fled the country instead of facing the consequences of his own guilty plea, there should be no defense of him from anyone. What he did was evil and reprehensible. The fact that he is a great director doesn't obscure the fact that he robbed a child of far more than Bernie Madoff stole from his victims.
What has our culture become when people can commit despicable criminal acts and yet get defended and excused because they are celebrities. If David Letterman takes advantage of subordinates who work for him, then it's not funny, it's pathetic and immoral. The audience shouldn't laugh and applaud; they ought to walk out in disgust. And instead of actors and even governments seeking the release of Roman Polanski, they should be screaming for justice.
Our country was brilliantly designed by our Founders and nurtured in the Providence of God to withstand many points of view, but it cannot stand having different rules of propriety based on a person's celebrity status.
I miss the days when we might have been divided by politics, but not on basic principles of morality. Having grown up with the television drama "Dragnet," I loved how the creators of this YouTube video imagined the way the Polanski case would have been handled by Sgt. Joe Friday:
(BEGIN YOUTUBE VIDEO CLIP)
ROMAN POLANSKI: I don't understand why should I be punished for the penchant I have for young women?
'SGT. JOE FRIDAY': I dealt with you before and every time I did it took me a month for me to wipe off the filth.
You waited for the right little girl to come along. Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock she did. You told her you were going to take her for a ride around the block. You got her in your car. She started to cry, and then you know what you did to her.
Get your head up when I'm talking to you!
Like every hoodlum since Kane through Capone, you've learned to hide behind some quirk in the law. And mister, now you've graduated. You've moved to the sewer. You're a child molester.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I can't speak for you, but I'll take Joe Friday's values over Roman Polanski's.
That's my view, I welcome yours. E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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