—-Ovid (c.43 BC-AD 18)
Many people are aghast at the thought that a large number of wealthy and influential people in our country allegedly used their wealth and influence to achieve a goal that those of us with less of each could attain. The media can’t turn away from the circus now surrounding Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, two celebrities among scores of others who allegedly used bribes and fraudulent methods to get their children acceptances to sought after colleges that they would have otherwise been denied. Television networks are now falling all over each other trying to distance themselves from these stars. Loughlin, in fact, has been booted from the two shows she is currently starring in, "Fuller House" and "When Calls the Heart."
I find it troubling that our country seems to have skipped over the “innocent until proven guilty” part of our justice system and jumped right into the “make them pay” point of view. Instead of waiting for a jury of peers, the community begins meting out the punishments that seem to satisfy those with the loudest mouths. People are losing their livelihoods and their reputations over accusations that might later be proven false, and “innocent until being proven guilty” has gone the way of the eight tracks...nice to have around and pull out when it suits us but too bulky to really use anymore.
In my eyes, IF these allegations are true, I believe that the damage done to the children of these people surpasses the damage done to society as a whole. We look to our parents to help build our moral fiber, and if a parent condones or encourages a child to commit fraud to achieve a goal, the fiber begins to wear thin. If Loughlin’s children were never really part of a crew team but were encouraged to take pictures that showed otherwise, then they were made complicit in fraudulent behavior. They were being taught that the ends ALWAYS justify the means. They don’t! It is our place to make sure our children understand that how we get there is more important than getting there itself. If these accusations are proven true, these parents failed at the one job they committed a crime to succeed at, and their children will pay the price.
Our country will pay a bigger price however, if we continue to whittle away at the justice system that our forefathers believed in and let vigilante justice take hold. Frankly, even if these women are found guilty, I fail to see how that should affect their ability to entertain. Should they be imprisoned, their shows will naturally be altered, and if they are not imprisoned, then the audience can decide whether or not to watch their shows. It is not their employers’ place to mete out justice. I understand why certain jobs might need to keep felons off the payroll, but if we continue forcing entertainers to be morally ideal in all aspects of their lives, we will soon have to spend long hours watching re-runs of Pat Boone( google him if you don’t remember). It is way too dangerous to encourage any form of punishment that tends toward vigilantism, and even though I loathe what these people did, they must be afforded protection in the United States of America.
On another note, I read two books this week. One was an advance copy of a book due this fall by John Dobbyn. It kept me up reading until two In the morning for two nights running and taught me things about the real Dracula that I never knew. It is also too early for me to share my review with you. I didn’t mean to read it yet...really...but it was that good. Unfortunately, the other book I read was not good, and although I finished it, I will not share it with you. So, unfortunately I must ask your understanding...there will be no review this week. I have just started a good book though, so I will be prepared come next Friday.