Have you noticed the inversion of scandal in the recent 20-30 years?
There was a time in the twentieth century when scandal was just that — a scandal. It was an indictment against ethical and moral behavior that more often than not ruined reputations and scarred social and political clout for the life of the offender.
No longer. Incredibly, in less than a century, we have become scandal-mongers, feverishingly exploiting every weakness, foible, flaw and failure for maximum hi-def, color corrrected, real time gain.
We are literally becoming self-consuming.
The once-favored retort of “no they did not” has inverted to “of course they did.”
The lowest, most demeaning, indulgent, self-serving behavior is now prized and promoted. Any blush response whatsoever has now been damned, demeaned and demoted as prudish zealotry and medieval intolerance.
Did John Edwards commit adultery (my bad, “have an affair”) with another woman while his wife lay dying of cancer — of course he did.
Did AT&T charge me 41% of my total bill just to hit a keystroke and re-activate my phone — of course they did.
Did tens of billions (that’s with a ‘b‘) of dollars mysteriously vanish without a trace during the management phase of the Iraq War — of course it did.
Did the Texas Department of “Public Safety” fine me and throw me in jail for tickets and warrants I did not have — of course they did.
Did the St. Georges County police force storm a mayor’s house like drunk stormtroopers, trespass on his property, kill his pets, terrify his relatives and sneer at the mere suggestion of an apology when it was obvious (and later proved) they were in fact behaving criminally — of course they did.
There is a word for this wave-function of ethical abandonment: it is called moral collapse.
Every culture eventually falls. Now, they fall for many reasons, but the strong ones invariably collapse due to moral decline.
Of course, its is utterly forbidden — soon to be illegal — to define exactly what morality we should be adhering to, but everyone recognizes its absences brings down all nations, just as it is bringing down ours. Interestingly, the very first sign of an inward moral collapse is when it is no longer permitted to openly define the moral parameters to which we should all be conforming.
Our course unaltered, the collapse of America inevitable. In fact, we are well into it.
Some other nation will rise up for a short time and inherit the mantle we’ve hopefully shared with the world before our fall.