Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A HIGHER BAR [T, 1-2-18]

Each day I get the obits from two different newspapers by email. They have ads at the top. Sometimes they are for shoes or books. Usually they are from the ‘Committee to Re-Elect President Trump.’ They say, “Do you oppose impeachment? Vote now.” And there is a vote button to click on. On some days, the question is, “Do you favor investigating Hillary?”

I have never clicked to vote. I don’t know if there is a Yes response button as well as the No button. In fact, I would have trouble figuring out whether to click on Yes or No because of the way the question is worded.

But, if you are a supporter of the president, just being against his impeachment is a really low bar.

A woman I know wanted to talk about the AL senate election, even though we do not live in AL-although our granddaughter was born there. She said she was in favor of Roy Moore being elected to the Senate. I asked her why. “I don’t believe he molested those teen girls,” she said. “You know,” I said, “just believing a candidate is not a pervert is a pretty low bar. Why else do you support him?” She gave me a condescending look, which meant she couldn’t think of anything.

One worry I have with the current the spotlight on sexual abuse by men in authority [and, yes, it’s almost always men, so let’s not quibble] is that we seem to be in danger of having only one qualification for leadership: Have you been guilty of sexual abuse?

Don’t get me wrong. That is a major issue and one that must be addressed. But we have people in political office and other authority positions who are guilty of other things, too, like manipulating the financial and tax worlds so that they and their wealthy friends can prey on the poor. It’s not sexual predation, but the resulting poverty and ill health for so many people can be as damaging as sexual abuse, both to individuals and to society.

The issue is not just sexual abuse, but using a position of authority and power to prey on those who are weaker, the ones Jesus referred to as “the widows and orphans.”

We need a high bar to get over for those who have any kind of authority. Maybe that should be our common resolution for the new year: set the bar higher.


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