I listen to the news today. I hear America including friends and family talking politics. I’m constantly bewildered at the perfection that the average imperfect American expects from their leaders. Adultery is pretty common in American life. Yet, when a Politician or Leader is found lacking in this area of personal discipline and marital fidelity, he is crucified. Often enough, he is crucified by people who are guilty of the same transgressions. This is pure hypocrisy. I’m sure it’s common outside of our borders as well. This is about us, though. Not Africe, Asia or Europe. I know not one perfect person in America. Not one. Neither Jesus nor Mohammad are with us right now. Nor is Siddhartha the Shakyamuni.
Yet, we have this strange obsession with the faults of politicians and business leaders and any person who becomes a sensation or a “star” in the American galaxy. We obsessively place these folks on pedestals and then just as obsessively knock them off. The Fall seems to be more eagerly followed than the rise.
Looking back through our history, I can not find one of our heroes or leaders who would endure unscathed the microscope of paparazzi and gossip magazines and talk television of our era.
This begs the question. What amount of talent has gone wasted. How many highly qualified people has this intense scrutiny stolen from our republic. How much that once would have been freely and happily given is no longer offered because of the hassle of having your life scrutinized from top to bottom. From head to toenails.
What great person has remained in the shadows because he’s gay or likes an occasional joint or a imbibes a bit too heavily for the hypocrits of mainstream America.
What have we lost due to this insane phenomenon of parasitic vicarious couch dwelling?
As H.L. Mencken makes perfectly clear in the scanned page above, George Washington would have been driven out of town by the townsfolk with their torches and pitchforks. He’d have been called a drunkard, an Atheist, a profane scoundrel of the worst sort — A Business Man. The old Man even had a thing for the young pretty ladies.
George Washington is the Father of America. More so than any other. He is the Great Man. The Indispensable Man in the pantheon of the Creation Mythology of America. Yet, today, he would be a pariah. What have we lost because of our inability to accept imperfection in others that is innate in ourselves. I believe that too much has been lost.