Friday, July 8, 2011

Athletes and Artists Are Not Character Role Models

Tiger Woods
Tim Tebow
Britney Spears
Lindsay Lohan
Michael Phelps

They're artists and athletes, not role models. While you can admire their drive, ambition, work ethic, singing ability, athleticism, guitar-playing, ball-throwing, etc, don't make the mistake of expecting perfection. Wouldn't kids be better served with a dose of reality? "Sure, she's beautiful and has a lucrative recording contract, but she's lonely, struggles with depression and drugs and makes bad decisions sometimes."

Phelps may be an Olympian, but all that proves is he can swim faster than other men in his age group. It doesn't mean he's a model of emotional stability and moral fortitude. We don't pay these people to teach us values, we pay them to perform. They have talents and they've worked hard to develop them, and, as a result, are financially successful. Doesn't make them a math whiz or a poet, or a particularly moral person. Celebrities demonstrate drive and discipline in one area of their life, and beyond entertainment value, their actions have no bearing on the rest of us.

Politicians are a different story. They are chosen by citizens, or appointed by our elected representatives to create, interpret and enforce laws and public policy. If they have the power to tell me what to do with my money, body and personal property, then they need to walk the talk.

Eliot Spitzer
John Edwards
Tom DeLay
Anthony Weiner

The above are just a few of the recent scandal perpetrators in public office. These guys sold us a bill of goods, and deserve to be punished. Regardless of where you stand on the violations in question - misusing campaign funds to cover up an affair and illegitimate child, frequenting prostitutes, violating ethics rules, bribery, or just outright lying and stealing, these activities were condemned by the very people who committed them. If one of us were caught doing the same they would lead the charge to lock us up and throw away the key.

So spare me the tirade against Tiger. I don't care what goes on between him and his wife. And tell Tim Tebow to keep his opinions on family planning to himself. But, please keep me informed if Tom DeLay wants to wash that grey right out of his white-collar, and I sure as Hell need to know if Rod Blagojevich puts a U. S. Senate seat on eBay.