My early-morning coffee shop "therapist," a witty Evangelical of a very conservative political stripe, believes our government institutions are unable to take care of us but that our churches might, if given a chance, pick up the slack in our unraveling social safety net.
I'm not sure about the role of churches...I am betting that our society's salvation is more likely in the collective consciousness created by our Constitution.
Meanwhile, all over there are examples of cheating to win and of using power to cover up misconduct.
Time out. Only rarely are we forced to get to really know a "Sandusky" and the experience is so distasteful, no one is eager for a recurrence.
Does bad stuff quit happening when an occasional pedophile is imprisoned? Nope. We are so infatuated with "winning" (a gerund that usually means defeating someone else) that the "cost-benefit" ratio is skewed heavily toward doing things we don't want others to know about to achieve "success."
(Disclaimer: To paraphrase Twain, I am not only in the want-to-win parade but sometimes carry the banner. I have been known to try hard and not give up easily.)
Contemporary society coronates the champion while the loser, often in spite of a stellar list of accomplishments, fades quickly into an oblivion of runners-up, also-rans, and losers.
Someone used to say "winning" wasn't "everything." What happened to that philosophy? Maybe we should start giving awards to people who play by the rules? Personal integrity could become the new everything. Nike would spend less money changing the names of buildings on the Beaverton campus and our government institutions and schools would be run by less selfish people.
That sounds like victory to me.
I have been working for a decade to expose waste and fraud in the Beaverton School District where, traditionally, opportunities have abounded for lawyers and public school millionaires, but not so much for classroom teachers and working-class kids.
My early-morning coffee acquaintance is praying for those school children while I view the tenacious rule-enforcers who finally exploded the Lance Armstrong mythology as good role models for the rest of us.
Without accountability for people with power who cheat for personal gain, any reform effort is smokescreen hypocrisy.
And citizens are merely chattel.