We have all done dumb things

Let me first say, Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, must resign. He made a series of poor decisions in his past and has handled this whole escapade poorly. There has been a breach of faith with his constituents.

When incumbents dishonor the office, action must be taken. It need not always be resignation, but some formal censure or pulling of appointments to committees could be in order. It is vital to protect the auspices of the position. The Catholic Church failed to learn this regarding sexual assault and rape with Penn State and Michigan State Universities doing the same.

Unfortunately, my former party did not heed this lesson as the current US President should have been removed from the campaign when he confirmed what others had accused him of before the so-called “locker room talk” became public – sexual assault. Now he continues to defame the office with his untruths, bullying and demeaning of anyone who is in his way or he perceives to challenge his message.

Setting all of this aside, we have all done dumb things in our past. All of us, even the Pope. This is even more true when we were young and impressionable. We have done things in group settings, where we may not have been strong-willed enough to tell the group we should not be doing this or I choose not to do this. Three teen boys with free time is the makings of some poor decision-making.

The key in looking back is to come clean. Was this an isolated incident or a pattern of behavior? Are they otherwise exhibiting reputable patterns of behavior since that time? How is the person reacting to the resurfaced information? Did they fess up or go into protection mode as the governor has done?

What worried me about our newest Supreme Court justice is there seemed to be a pattern of behavior as a teen and young man that was troubling. Yet, once it got political, the truth was overshadowed by messaging. What also was overshadowed by accusers is his behavior since being a responsible adult. I would have liked all of this to have been handled more judiciously, yet I must confess the judge was in attack mode and the issues should have been raised much earlier before it became a crisis.

In a recent post, I mention the number 19 is the numerator of a favorite example. The person who does the right thing 19 times out of 20 is different from the person who has a less stellar track record. The President is untruthful 69% of the time and as Thomas Wells, an attorney who worked for him, said, “Trump lies every day, even about things of no consequence.” For the former person, you would tend to give him or her the benefit of the doubt.

Let me close with an observation we all need to consider. Not only have we all done dumb things, in today’s world, those things are recorded. For some reason, politicians tend to forget that things are recorded. Representative Anthony Weiner is a smart man, but doesn’t he know that sending a picture of his manhood is easily shared and not easily erased?

So, politicians or any officials need to come clean, preferably before they run.The sad part is since we are in a “gotcha” culture, people with pretty good records will choose not to run. And, that may be more harmful to our country.

 

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5 thoughts on “We have all done dumb things

  1. Note to Readers: I wish the Democrats had been more condemning of Bill Clinton and his womanizing and having an affair in the oval office, then lying about it. With Trump, he has gone well beyond extra-marital affairs. He has been accused and boasted about sexual assault and misconduct of at least twenty known women (some of whom were teens when the misconduct occurred). He was accused, although not by a credible source, of allegedly raping a 13 year old girl, which had enough merit to warrant an information sharing date with the court in December, 2016. This woman was likely paid off, the week before the election, when she had scheduled a press conference then decided to not go forward.

    What the press did a poor job of reporting before the election is a number of these women described in detail before the Access Hollywood tape surfaced precisely what The Donald boasted on. Also, he was accused of walking in on naked and partially naked teem beauty pageant contestants on multiple occasions. He corroborated this in several interviews with radio shock jock Howard Stern.

    If this was just locker room talk, how did they know what you were going to say beforehand? I would love to see a trial where he is put on the stand. He would be the prosecutor’s best witness.

  2. Dear Keith,

    Welcome to the human race. We all mess up at some point. But for anyone to hold public office, they have to own whatever it is if there’s the remotest possibility that it could be made public. They have to do like others have, like President Obama telling about smoking pot which he describes in his book.

    If one has to apologize only after being caught/ outed, it’s too late.

    I see Sen. Warren having messed up with claiming Native American heritage. She could have said a long time ago that she was told by family that she had Native American ancestry to where she acted, accordingly. Then she should have apologized. End of story instead of…drip..drip..drip.

    Hugs, Gronda

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