I guess some people need to be told what’s right and what’s wrong. I guess we’re not intrinsically born with the knowledge. It seems like it’s something you’re supposed to learn early in life from parents and/or teachers — but evidently not every body learns it very well.
I know a lot of people seem to have to go to church and be told what’s right and what’s wrong and what’s good and what’s bad. Maybe it’s something like telling a young child, “Don’t touch the stove! You’ll get burned!” and then the little child goes ahead and touches the stove anyway and then the child get burned and learns the hard way not to touch the stove again.
When talking to people about crime, I’ve often heard myself say, “Why don’t people play on the freeway?” They look at me wondering why I’m asking them that and then I answer, “Because they know they’re going to get hit by a car or a truck.”
So people know without question that playing on the freeway is bad and wrong and I can’t think of anybody who plays on the freeway.
But stealing and robbing and cheating and lying and other things that most people believe is wrong and or bad, is another thing altogether. Why is that? Mostly because they think they can get away with it or that other people don’t think it’s that bad or that wrong so they go ahead and do it.
But most of the people who are doing the things mentioned above, that people believe are bad or wrong, go to church and nod their heads when the minister who is preaching tells them those things are bad but like the song sung by Patsy Cline, “Dear God” says, “I go to church on a Sunday, the vows that I make I break them on Monday the rest of the week I do as I please and come Sunday morning I pray on my knees.”
Why is that? Because going to church is not like playing on the freeway, people think they’re too smart to get caught and they know if they do get caught, they’re not going to hit by a car or a truck. But they could lose a job or a marriage or their freedom but, as I say, they think they’re too smart to get caught.
So why are there 2 million people locked up in the USA today? And you know very well that that is only a small fraction of the people doing things they know they shouldn’t be doing. So let’s multiply that 2 million by a good 10 making it 20 million people doing things they know they shouldn’t be doing and taking the chance of committing crimes they know if they get caught they may pay dearly but they do it anyway. Because they think they can get away with it, either by not getting caught or by getting a good defense lawyer.
You see it on TV and hear about it on the radio and read about it in the papers every day, people taking crazy chances and cheating and lying and committing crimes and Wall Street insider trading, the Big Bank bailout, many who are still committing crimes and laundering money for terrorists and other illegal activities, and all the gang activity and even committing murder and you also hear and read about politicians doing it and some of them pretty much getting away with it.
I mean we can start right at the top with President Nixon lying and cheating and getting caught but not doing any prison time. Yes he lost his presidency but he chose to resign rather than take the chance of being impeached and sent to prison so that’s a good example of getting away with doing the crime but not doing the time in prison.
So was Nixon right or wrong? Well, I guess you can say he wrong and right. He was wrong in believing he wasn’t going to get caught and right in knowing he wasn’t going to do any time in prison.
And we can go on from there to President Reagan’s Iran-Contra shenanigans with selling arms to our “ally” Iran and giving the money to our “ally”, the Nicaraguan Contras who were fighting the Nicaraguan government. Reagan claims he didn’t know about the scheme but that’s hard to believe and if he didn’t know about it? Who was running the government, the President or his staff? And is that any better?
And we can go on down the line from other government officials all the way down to street thugs and drug dealers who, no doubt, look up at everybody else getting away with much worse than dealing illegal drugs so why not? I mean they can see that more people are dying using legal drugs and by hospital mishaps than they are by using illegal drugs and where’s the outrage about that?
So, I guess what’s right and what’s wrong in the eyes of most people, is what’s the chances of getting caught and what’s the penalty if they do get caught and how bad is getting caught going to be?
President Ronald Reagan Nixon resigning
with Caspar Weinberger, George Shultz, Ed Meese, and Don Regan
discussing the President’s remarks on the Iran-Contra affair, Oval