Nobody’s business: The medical condition of a 17 year-old woman is between her and her doctor and family. Whether a pregnant teenager and the man who cooperated in that event should get married is a matter between them, their parents and pastors or other significant adults in their lives — not the media, the national political parties, the busybodies and self-righteous mudslingers on all ends of the political spectrum.
Everybody’s concern: how did we get to this place in our culture? How is it that we’ve come to a place in which the flashing news banner across the top of the website of a major news organization screams “She has decided to keep the baby and marry the father” even as hurricanes and wars rage, the economy is a mess, and millions more people quietly slide deeper into working poverty each day? When did we lose any sense of proportion about what’s important to know versus what is simply, utterly, salacious invasion of personal privacy? How did it happen that people of many different political persuasions are using a child’s bad judgment to claim some political advantage?
George Orwell’s “1984″ wasn’t wrong — he was just writing ahead of our time. “Big Brother” on the big screen invading everyone’s private space turns out to be NOT some evil governmental tyrant but, sadly and shockingly, the tyranny of a freedom that knows no boundaries at all. Orwell meets DailyKos.
I’m all in favor of freedom of the press. I will stand strong for freedom of speech. But freedom without some measure of respect for balance, for truth, for rightful claims of privacy for individuals who have a rightful expectation of some privacy — especially, children — withers into an irresponsible form of careless, harmful expression that does nothing to advance the cause of our democracy.
Candidates for high office cannot claim that they are only victims of the shameful culture of personal attack. Even the little bit of television that I watch now seems an endless stream of advertisements of one candidate attacking the other with almost no substantive content. “Opposition research” is a high art form designed to dig and dish as much dirt as possible. Meanwhile, American troops are dying in Iraq, the sick and elderly cram emergency wards because they have no health insurance, and children in urban public schools repeat the cycles of illiteracy that fuel poverty and violence. I keep waiting for the advertisements that will address these issues with seriousness of purpose.
Everybody’s concern: how our choices in this election will lead our nation and world to a more peaceful, more prosperous, more secure future for generations to come.
Nobody’s business: the private challenges and choices of families and children. Leave them alone!