Saturday, August 20, 2016
by Patrick Dorinson

American Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and a few of his pals had completed their events and decided to unwind by having a few drinks. Either they drank too much on their own or they were “over served”. In any case on the way home they stopped at a gas station. And that is where the trouble started.

The altercation with the folks who were running the station that followed ended with the swimmers paying for the damage they caused to the bathroom and going back to the Olympic Village.

Since before the Games began, Brazil, and Rio in particular have been fighting the image of a poor backward nation with a corrupt government and police force. It is ironic that up until a few years ago Brazil was being hailed as the new model for economic growth in Latin America as it became the fifth largest economy in the world.

But a scandal involving President Douseff who has been accused of cooking the nation’s books to hide problems and the collapse of Petrobas the semi- government run oil giant have created a crisis in Brazil.

The Brazilians have been very sensitive about pulling off the Games without any major disasters. They have largely been successful despite the green water in the pools and lack of spectators in the stands at even the most important events.

But the incident with Lochte and his band of pranksters was not the fault of corrupt police officials.

The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of these young Americans who acted like spoiled brats repeatedly lied through their teeth that it wasn’t their fault and that they were innocent victims.

That is until the video evidence came out and the police interviewed the punks.

All of the sudden their story changed and we found out what really happened.

Three of the swimmers were held in Rio and questioned but the supposed ringleader-Lochte- was already safe at home in the United States after abandoning his pals to the mercy of Brazilian officials.

Lochte must have known his lie would be found out so he high-tailed it out of town one step ahead of the sheriff.

But this story has its origins in things that happened when Lochte and his mates were in their teens.

Ryan Lochte is 32 years old and that means he was about 14 when Bill Clinton was impeached and the whole Monica Lewinsky affair was blasted every day in the media.

If Bill Clinton had been the CEO of a publicly traded company his actions with Monica would have earned him a quick dismissal for sexual harassment.

Instead he escaped any judgment and in effect got away with it.

Newspapers and pundits decried the Republican “witch-hunt” against him and instead questioned the motives of his accusers.

They said while his actions were troubling it was a private matter and that if Hillary forgave him so should the American people. Besides the economy was doing well so why rock the boat.

But it wasn’t a private matter. The President of the United States told outright bald-faced lies.

After it was over Clinton issued one of his trademark bite-the-lower-lip admissions of bad judgment and the media told us all to move on.

It was left to parents to explain to their children why it was OK for the President to tell lies and not face any consequences.

But Bill and Hillary could have cared less how kids might view their actions. They got away with it.

The lesson kids of that era learned from the Clintons was do what the Hell you want, if caught for some transgression lie about it and if caught in the lie apologize.

This is the essence of Clintonethics.

Unfortunately for America, Clintonethics has replaced the ethics taught by Plato and Aristotle.

In Clintonethics the Ten Commandments are mere suggestions especially the ones that say “thou shalt not commit adultery” and “thou shalt not bear false witness”.

Values? Ethics? Morals?

These are but quaint reminders of a different time when character mattered and kids were taught the difference between right and wrong.

But it is easier to follow Clintonethics since it requires nothing of the practioner while traditional morals and values require discipline and sometimes denial of something you might desire because the way to acquire it is not in keeping with your personal code of conduct.

So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week and it is something my Mother taught me and I’ll bet a lot of your Moms taught you as well.

“Character is how you act when no one is watching”.

Ryan Lochte and his fellow Olympians either were never taught this valuable lesson or it never sunk in.

And the Clintonethics adopted by much of America back in the 1990s are probably one of the reasons they weren’t.

That is the real Clinton legacy.