Your comments regarding what we say in this space matter and that’s why we call it “You Tell Me.” The idea is that I take a position and then you tell me what you think. I’m right on. I’m full of beans.
You Tell Me.
So with that said, let’s revisit some of the things we have talked about in previous weeks and share your comments on them. Let’s start with Roman Polanski.
The Swiss police announced this week that they are keeping fugitive film director Roman Polanski in jail pending extradition proceedings back to the United States. As you may recall, Roman Polanski skipped bail 31 years ago in California as he awaited formal sentencing in a plea deal flowing from his sexual abuse of a 13-year old girl. He has been living in France and Poland since. Polanski was arrested late last month in Switzerland as he entered that country to accept an award.
The beautiful people of Hollywood have gone nuts on this. How dare anyone hold Polanski accountable for something that happened so long ago, they cry. To arrest Polanski and extradite him to the United States to face the reckoning he has avoided for 31 years is to reveal oneself as a “Philistine” according to Debra Winger.
I said in a post two weeks ago that anyone, regardless of political belief, should be able to make the right call on Roman Polanski. He’s an admitted sexual predator. He should have to pay for his crime.
Reader David Birkman offered this comment. “I wonder where the 13-year-old’s father was in all this. If someone had done that to my sister, my father would have taken care of it before the SOB could have left the country.”
Well, that’s a good question, Mr. Birkman and one that I would have raised in the original post but for the fact that space did not permit. I, of course, don’t recommend vigilante justice. But the whereabouts of the father is a legitimate concern. I don’t know this but I’d bet on it. The young girl who was abused by Polanski likely did not have an actively engaged father. It has been my experience that children who are raised in households with two committed parents are dramatically less likely to wind up in this kind of trouble. The social model that worked for several millennia was the two-parent household. Kids that wind up in trouble or as victims of abuse are disproportionately from single-parent homes.
Thank you, Mr. Birkman, for your comment.
Reacting to my post of September 24 reader Andy Harris commented, “Ben Franklin [said], ‘We must not have those in poverty comfortable. We must DRIVE them out.’” Mr. Harris, I cannot find where Benjamin Franklin ever said that but I agree with the sentiment.
To the extent that government provides aid and benefit that serves to insulate individuals from the consequences of their bad behaviors, such as dropping out of school, becoming addicted or having babies while still in their teens, you will inevitably get more of the bad behavior. Fear of the consequences of failure is a useful motivator that has become greatly under appreciated.
The beauty of the experiment that began with our constitutional republic is that for the first time, we got kings and earls and dukes and potentates of all stripes out of the way of ordinary people and allowed those ordinary people to flourish on their own industry and initiative. Thus a great nation rose and went on to become very, very wealthy. While we have a moral obligation to help those who cannot fend for themselves, we want to cast a narrow net. It was Benjamin Franklin that said, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. “
Your comments matter. Thank you Mr. Birkman and Mr. Harris and all of those that I have not mentioned for sharing yours. This is a dialogue. To anything that I say, I want your response. We didn’t pick the name of this feature by accident.