Sex isn’t the only thing that creates a scandal

Americans love a good scandal. More aptly, Americans love to watch a good scandal. This becomes more evident during election time, when dirty politics lead to more information being released with the hope that sexually assaulting a cocktail waitress will mean that you are unfit to run your state (which is odd for the Las Vegas incumbent, since assaulting a cocktail waitress is on the state flag). What is a scandal? A scandal is defined as a public incident that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society. The problem is that most of the events we label as scandals are involved with sex. Take the Mark Foley, Michael Jackson, Catholic priests and Lewinsky examples. We sensationalize these stories and say that this is an affront to our sensibilities. But does that give a healthy image of our values? No. It describes America as a bunch of Puritanical ideologues who focus on a micro level of insignificance. Why is it not a scandal that 30,000 children die every day from preventable diseases? Why is it not a scandal that we have chief executive officers that have a pay ratio to their employees of 431:1? Why is it not a scandal that we have a government that aids egregious human rights abuses all over the world? Why, as a nation, don’t we consider these scandals? Many scandals don’t even reach the headlines of most major newspapers. Fewer individuals could tell you about the crisis in Darfur than the dates that celebrity’s babies are revealed to the waiting world. The worst things that exist are not some inappropriate sexual actions. No one can honestly believe that political “sexcapades” hold a candle to child slavery or the deaths of millions. The media perpetuates this by blanketing sex information throughout our senses, feeding our perverse fascinations and making us lust for more. I believe that political groups need to reclaim the word scandal back from the National Enquirer. We need to end the idea that Iraq is a quagmire (which sounds like a member of the Rescue Ranger gang) and use words that have a transcendent meaning to Americans of all social classes. I don’t want to live in a world where the sleaze mongers get to define what our moral map looks like as we sit idly be and watch ourselves lose national honor because “sex sells.”