Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Throwing It All Away
You've probably heard about Duke Cunningham, the eight-term Republican Congressman from San Diego who pled guilty to bribery recently. This disturbs me, but not for the reasons you might think.
Naturally I'm dismayed that the Democrats are exploiting this opportunity to criticize the morality of the GOP. Nancy Pelosi said this is "just the latest example of the culture of corruption that pervades the Republican-controlled Congress, which ignores the needs of the American people to serve wealthy special interests and their cronies." But that's just politics. Nancy is supposed to say crap like that.
What really troubles me is that Duke Cunningham could have been a great man - he was a pilot during the Vietnam War and popular enough to be elected to the House of Representatives eight times. People admired this guy. That he would trade his honor for a yacht and a Rolls Royce is perfectly contemptible.
I am reminded of George Weller, the 86 year-old who accidentally drove into a crowd of people in Santa Monica, killing ten. George was described as a nice man by just about everybody. He beat the odds and lived to 86. The prize for living so long? Infamy.
Duke committed his crimes on purpose. George committed his on accident. They are united by a common thread - they will be remembered for making the world a worse place. A part of me hates them and a part of me pities them.
It's terrible, isn't it? You can build up a lifetime of good works and in one destructive act tilt the scales toward badness. George Weller may have been an exemplary fellow before the day of his crash, but it's hard to believe that anything that he did was as good as the bad that he did.Post a Comment