Joe Paterno and the Degradation of American Culture
November 08, 2011
RUSH: New York Times, headline: "Penn State Said to be Planning Paterno's Exit Amid Scandal." Now, there are some crazy things about this story involving Jerry Sandusky abusing young boys at Penn State. Paterno didn't. The media, sports media's been after Paterno to quit, resign for ten years. "He's too old. Life has passed him by. Football has passed him by; he's a fuddy-duddy. He's 84 years old, got no business coaching football, got no business being around college age football players. You can't relate to 'em. What the hell does he know about them. He's gotta get out!" This has been a refrain in the sports media for years, but Paterno hangs in there. Joe Paterno, up until now, has had something that very few people in this country die with -- and that's an impeccable reputation.
But that's gone now, and the media is going to see to it, and this is all part of a nation in decline. "Joe Paterno's tenure as coach of the Penn State football team will soon be over, perhaps within days or weeks, in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal that has implicated university officials, according to two people briefed on conversations among the university's top officials. The board of trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Paterno's exit, but it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football's top level and who made Penn State a prestigious national brand will not survive to coach another season. Discussions about how to manage his departure have begun, according to the two [unnamed] people.
"Paterno was to have held a news conference Tuesday but the university canceled it less than an hour before it was scheduled to start. At age 84 and with 46 seasons as the Penn State head coach behind him, Paterno's extraordinary run of success -- one that produced tens of millions of dollars for the school and two national championships, and that established him as one of the nation's most revered leaders, will end with a stunning and humiliating final chapter," as the media smiles. "Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator under Paterno, has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period, and Paterno has been widely criticized for failing to involve the police when he learned of an allegation of one assault of a young boy in 2002.
"Additionally, two top university officials -- Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director -- were charged with perjury and failure to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations, as required by state law. Since Sandusky's arrest Saturday, Penn State -- notably its president, Graham Spanier, and Paterno -- have come under withering criticism for a failure to act adequately after learning, at different points over the years, that Sandusky might have been abusing children. Newspapers have called for their resignations; prosecutors have suggested their inaction led to more children being harmed by Sandusky; and students and faculty at the university have expressed a mix of disgust and confusion, and a hope that much of what prosecutors have charged is not true.
"On Monday," yesterday, "law enforcement officials said that Paterno had met his legal obligation in alerting his superiors at the university when he learned of the 2002 allegation against Sandusky. But they suggested he might well have failed a moral test for what to do when confronted with such a disturbing allegation involving a child not even in his teens. No one at the university alerted the police or pursued the matter to determine the well-being of the child involved. The identity of that child remains unknown, according to the Attorney General" of Pennsylvania. "Paterno has not been charged in the matter, but his failure to report to authorities what he knew about the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky allegedly sexually assaulted a young boy at Penn State's football complex, has become a flashpoint, stirring anger among the board members and an outpouring of public criticism about his handling of the matter."
Now, what happened here, a graduate assistant (or assistant coach, student, whatever) witnessed Sandusky abusing, having sex with a young kid (we don't know how old) in the Penn State locker room. He went and told his dad. His dad then told Paterno, then Paterno told authorities at the university, which is what he was supposed to do. The problem here is that the witness didn't stop it. Everybody is up in arms here over the witness didn't do anything to stop it in the process. He saw it, ran out of there, and started telling his dad; his dad said, "Okay, we're gonna tell Paterno," but nobody stopped Sandusky when he was in the act. That's got people a little worried, and then that happened some time ago. Sandusky was still allowed to use the football facilities after that when everybody knew.
That's the problem. Those two events: That Sandusky wasn't stopped, and that people knew about it and then Sandusky years later was still in the football facilities while everybody knew what he was doing, that's... I don't know if you can put things in an order of "worst" here, but that certainly, if you did, would be at or near the top. Now, Paterno didn't act. What they're saying is Paterno should have had banished Sandusky. He should have not allowed him anywhere near the place after learning what he learned, should have gone to the cops, should have turned Sandusky in, should have shot him, something, whatever.
They've been gunning for Joe Paterno for years -- assorted alumnae, media, what have you -- simply because of his age. So it looks like Joe Paterno who up until all of this have just an impeccable reputation, is (if this New York Times story is correct) gonna be forced out of Penn State with none of that intact which, sad to say -- there are several in our culture -- several people love to just tear people down, no matter what. They just love teo destroy 'em. It's a fact of life in our culture because impeccably reputed people make everybody else look bad. So if we can make everybody look like a reprobate, it's not so bad to be a reprobate. If everybody looks like a scumbag then it's not so bad to be a scumbag.
Moynihan had a name for it: "Defining deviancy down," and that was in regards to pursuing crime. Our culture finally, over the years, has decided at different levels of crime, "Yeah, we can't catch 'em all. The hell with it. We'll call it a misdemeanor," and so what used to be abhorrent criminal behavior is now misdemeanor. "Everybody does it, not that big a deal. We gotta move on to other things." So we have ended up codifying scumbags and reprobates as the norm. Then you go after institutions after that, after you destroy people, and after a while there's nothing worth looking up to, and there's nothing worth emulating. Because the left wants everybody to believe that all of those impeccable reputations and all those fine people never were.
"They were scumbags like we all are and they just phony reputations, PR campaign made 'em look bigger and better but they're not. Nope. The model now? People like Bill Clinton. That's the hero, that's the star, that's the guy we all want to end up being like." That's who the Democrat Party hoists up -- and if they don't hoist 'em up, they do their best to protect 'em, as in John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, you know the drill. See, the left wants no standards for themselves. They don't want to be judged, because they know full well they'll fail. They know full well that they will come up short if measured against standards, and so there can't be any standards. It's just like people in poverty. The left... You're seeing it now. They don't want to elevate people. They're not interested in taking the 99% and getting them into the 1%.
They're not interested in taking the bottom 40% and putting them in the top 50%. Nope! They want to go up to the top, take everybody up there, and bring 'em down; cut everybody down to size -- and they're doing it to the country. And that's what Obama's mission is, is to take the country down a peg. "There's no American exceptionalism; there never was! That was all a lie. That was all phony, plastic PR. This country's always been mean-spirited, extremist, bigoted, racist, and sexist -- and that's the truth of this country, and we're gonna make sure everybody understands that! Not only in this country, but around the world, too." That's Obama's mission. So we have a culture -- we have people, we have a nation, we have institutions -- in decline being managed as such purposefully.