Freedom of speech is one of our most protected rights as American citizens. However, it pains me to see how mere accusations can ruin another persons reputation, either professionally or personally, destroying a lifetime of work and effort in the blink of an eye. If the recent charges against Herman Cain are proven true, then he should suffer the consequences. If not, it will go down as one of the worst character assassinations in recent memory. Unfortunately, much damage has already been done regardless of the outcome, and many good people will be paying the price.
In our ultra-techno society filled with 24-hour cable news, the internet, and those with selfish agendas filling their minds, mere accusations seem to be enough these days to either destroy, or damage another persons hard work and reputation. Like I stated above, it saddens me seeing this happening to so many, who I believe, don’t deserve it. Do I think Mr. Cain is guilty of the improper behavior leveled against him? I really don’t know. However, if I had to guess: I smell some dark alley deals being made to stop his Presidential bid in its tracks. But who knows, tomorrow could bring us a whirlwind of new information, true or not. Nowadays, it’s very difficult to decipher the difference between reality and fantasy until some factual evidence begins coming forth, or even more, an admittance of guilt. People have become very good at lying, a scary thing, especially when it involves those with significant power placed at their fingertips.
When Bill Clinton famously pointed his finger at the cameras many years ago in the middle of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and sternly stated, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky…” many believed him. After all, he looked determined, passionate, almost raging with denial at the accusations leveled against him. You could almost feel his anger and see the smoke billowing from his ears. But when the undeniable proof finally reared its ugly head…WOW, were Americans ever thrown for a loop, or were they?
Like many, I watch the news channels. I’m not a cable news junkie, but once a day for an hour or so I like to see what’s happening. The hyped-up opinions fly, the infighting over political issues never stop, blah, blah. After a while, everything seems repetitive; the only difference is the characters and scenery periodically changes. So, when the stories started coming out about Mr. Cain, I found myself shrugging it off and chalked it up to just another scandal. My point to all of this is like most, I’ve become somewhat immune to these types of headlines. They’re no longer jaw-dropping and watched with disbelief like they once were. We’ve become a nation, and world, filled with deaf ears and a lack of surprise over almost anything we see placed in the media. And what’s wierd about celebrities and politicians is we’ve practically come to expect their crazy behavior. The list goes on: Clinton, Edwards, Kennedy, Frank, Hart, Spitzer, Wiener, and almost all of Hollywood just to name a few. Do we care anymore about what these people do? Have we gotten to the point of no return, thinking there could be something wrong with them if they aren’t involved in some form of improper conduct?
To go back to the beginning, I hate seeing those who are innocent being caught in the middle (i.e. campaign volunteers). Which leads me to my next point: Can a good, decent, moral person stand a chance at holding one of the highest offices in the land, including the Presidency? My gut tells me “yes,” but my heart is whispering “no.” Why? The temptations that come with power are just too great and the skeletons in the closets always jolt back to life. Just my opinion.
How about us who put ourselves out there as authors, bloggers, activists, and anything else which places our efforts in front of others? Sooner or later, someone’s going to take a shot at your reputation, criticize your work, make fun of your efforts, or even worse, selfishly try to demoralize your character. The best thing to do is shrug it off and keep on moving. After all, doing something creative is always subjected to judgment, and learning to deal with criticism is just part of what makes us human. But no matter whom you are or what you do, eventually, negativity always comes forth, testing your spirit and patience.
A persons name and reputation is really all they have. It’s the one thing that makes us unique and original. I hope Mr. Cain doesn’t go the way of so many politicians before him. But if he does, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be the last.