Imagine being a young person following the news of the day. You turn on the evening news to see an interview with an adult film star discussing her affair with the sitting President of the United States just months after his wife gave birth to their child. You pick up a local newspaper and see a growing list of allegations being levied at former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and a litany of other local officials in a federal corruption trial. You go on Facebook or Twitter and see a level of nastiness that just wasn’t a part of our discourse a decade ago.
Following a new development of social protest being led by children across the country on the issue of gun violence, I wonder whether enough attention has been paid to what the consequences will be as they mature through such a nasty time in our politics. The March For Our Lives events were certainly an encouraging sign. Young people who were personally affected by the tragedy in Parkland spoke with tremendous grace in Washington D.C. and those who shared in their concerns took leading roles in marches across Long Island.
However, hearing from them still left me with the lingering thought of what this will all mean in the coming decades. Our political culture has been corrupted with our public figures, ideally viewed as venerable figures, revealing them to be severely and openly flawed. The consequences of these failings cannot be known today but must be taken seriously. Recognizing this issue, it becomes all the more important to highlight the good and upstanding in our communities as a means to set positive examples for those best served by proper guidance.