Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is Vindictiveness Justified?

Two incidents recently have caught my attention and put the aforementioned question in my mind. The first incident involved the cheer leading coach who was fired because it was discovered that she had posed for Playboy Magazine. The second incident involved the beauty queen who lost her chance for the Miss USA crown because of her answer concerning same-sex marriages.

In the first incident, the cheer leading coach had suspended the captain of the cheer leading team because she had missed three consecutive practices. The child then informed her mother that she had heard a rumor the coach had some pictures of her naked on the Internet. Sure enough, mom found them and promptly informed school officials.

In the second incident, the beauty queen, Ms. California, was making a strong case to be the next Miss USA. Then came the toughest part of the pageant, the Q & A session. In a true luck of the draw scenario, Perez Hilton, the openly gay Internet gossip blogger, was the judge Ms. California had to answer a question from. Hilton asked the contestant her position on same-sex marriages and after fumbling through the answer, she basically declared that marriage was between a man and a woman. Hilton did not like that answer, neither did the crowd and at least one other judge, a former Miss USA. Hence, Ms. North Carolina won and Ms. California was first runner-up.

I wonder how Ms. North Carolina would have answered that question.

Anyway, in the end it was probably right that the cheer leading coach was asked to step down based on the provocative pictures, but now that it is out in the open, she may be able to land another job teaching or training cheerleaders in the future.

In the end it is probably good that Ms. North Carolina, who nailed her question on the federal bailout plan, won because she was the best overall contestant and Ms. California was more polished on the morning talk shows than she was in that big moment. Ms. California more than likely has a job waiting for her on Fox News or CBN, so she will win out in the end.

But does it justify the vindictiveness of an angry mother or a single-issue activist? In a Machiavellian sort of way it does, but it should not be a standard practice, especially since it greatly impacts the lives of other individuals. There have been many moments in my life where I wanted to drop that hammer on somebody, especially in the political arena.

But I have always believed in the principle, what goes around, comes around. If I employed that vindictive strategy on others, it would give them license to use it on me. I hope that I will continue to have the self-discipline to stay within those boundaries. I also hope that others in the future would adhere to them as well.