American Dichotomy

Representative Christopher Lee (R-N.Y.) is resigning from the House of Representatives because “racy” photos he sent to a woman have been made public.

I don’t get it. I can see marriage counseling…divorce. Lots of alimony for Mrs. Lee. But resigning as a public servant? Not that I mind one less Republican in the House, but really?

What’s wrong with us? Ben Roethlisberger can corner a woman in a bar, she can accuse him of rape, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation writes a 572 page report (meaning untold hours (read tax dollars) of interviews, inquiry, and investigation), the GBI is convinced they have evidence of rape – and then he gets to be the quarterback in the super bowl? Ok, so his team lost but still…

My guess is, no, I know, that if I were to poll my students most of them could identify Roethlisberger, none would have ever heard of Rep. Lee. Most would be in awe of Roethlisberger’s wealth, his ability to outwit or overcome the law. Yes, yes, I know the young woman dropped the charges – but not because she recanted her story, but rather because the media attention to her tragedy was more than she could bear. She could not be victimized again. Sexual dominance is often viewed with admiration; it’s rationalized and justified. Athletes are role models.

Ben Roethlisberger makes me sick. He is a poor role model for our children. He should be removed from the pedestal.

A congressman places a personal ad, sends a few emails, and he loses his job? His tragic mid-life crisis is splattered all of the news and he is humiliated and vilified. And it is tragic, what sort of insecurity drives someone to a midlife crisis? What sort of self image do they have?

Adultery is a personal matter. Sexual violence is a crime against society. What goes on behind closed doors is none of my business, unless one of the people is  forced to be there (read raped). What sort of pictures someone sends via email; not my business. Or yours.

I can hear my conservative friends (and yes I have some, stop laughing), saying Mr. Lee did the right thing, he took the high road, Blah, blah, blah… To them I would say, there is nothing righteous about abandoning a public post because you’re embarrassed. Get over yourself! You chose a life of public duty, and you wanted to cheat on your wife—man up! Get a lawyer, settle with the mistress—with a gag order, of course. Let your wife file for divorce, settle with her. And do the job that the people of New York elected you to do! Otherwise, the message sent is convoluted…

When the going gets tough, athletes (read thugs) keep going, and lawmakers quit.  This is a dangerous statement for our society as a whole. Is that really the road we want to go down?


2 thoughts on “American Dichotomy

  1. Lee certainly must know that resigning over adultery is not required in today’s climate. This makes me think the situation perhaps isn’t so simple as it appears. Maybe this is the mere tip of the iceberg in Lee’s bad behavior. Or, maybe the personal consequence of losing his marriage outweighs his loss of public service. Maybe the guy just grasped what it means to be honorable, and is acting accordingly. Who knows? Who cares? His failures and personal growth are not my concern.

    I only chose to reply because of one: my great admiration for the word, dichotomy, which has little to do with your point, so I waxed a bit; and two: to clarify whether or not a parenthetical phrase embedded within another is properly denoted by brackets, rather than an internal set of parentheses? I understood it to be bracketed but I’ll defer to your expertise.

    • His failures in personal growth are not my concern — the failure of the American population to see that this is NOT news is what I find most disturbing. Who cares about his mid-life crisis? Who cares if he cheats on his wife? Well, I mean, I care, but it’s none of my business. What we prioritize as “news” frightens me.

      And, yes brackets would be grammatically correct…

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