Like the inmates who thought they could commit the perfect crime and avoid arrest, there are those who have become prisoners of their lower nature, believing they could get away with bad behavior. Their enablers, flunkies, political advisers and interest groups, tell them to keep doing what they are doing because it provides them with employment or political power.
At the heart of every "sin" (if I may use a word that has been replaced by the less judgmental word "dysfunctional") is pride. The Satan character in the film "The Devil's Advocate" says "pride is my favorite sin." That's because it leads to all the others, including sexual infidelity and the infidelity of politicians who abuse the power given to them by the people, becoming poor stewards of other people's money.
Let's not have any more of this business about someone being able to be one person in private and another in public. Anyone who breaks a pledge to his wife to remain faithful is more likely than not to engage in public behavior that is shameful, suspect and in some cases illegal.
Dictionary.com defines shame: "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper..."
The definition presumes a standard by which "honorable" and "proper" might be measured. We have abandoned that standard in favor of doing whatever makes us feel good. And then we feign surprise when growing numbers among us surrender to the "music of the night."
That's a shame.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.