Truth or consequences

When I wrote the other day about the sad case of Ron and Beverly and attempted to draw conclusions, I realized that post might not sit well with some readers. I expected some backlash.

Disrespectful. Cruel. Too soon.

I understand the part of human nature behind that reaction, and I acknowledge how common it is, but I don’t share the apprehension. Honesty itself isn’t cruelty.

In my hometown of Massillon yesterday morning a 23-year-old died when he lost control of his car while fleeing police. The local newspaper shared a link to its story about the crash, which happened just east of my childhood home. That post, of course, triggered a stream of condolences to the family, as well as expressions of what a good kid he was.

One commenter wondered aloud why he’d tried to evade the cops. Another speculated that he ran because he had a reason to run — a natural conclusion, I think — and that his actions showed disregard for (and disrespect of) authority. An avalanche of scolding followed.

Disrespectful. Cruel. Too soon.

I like facts. It occurred to me that more information about the circumstances would be easy enough to find. I surfed over to the Stark County CJIS page, entered the name published by the newspaper and learned what the deceased had been up to.

He’d recorded eight offenses over the last three years — six traffics and two for misdemeanor drug possession. One was an OVI. The two most recent entries were for driving under suspension, including a charge within the last 30 days for failure to appear. The kid had been running from the law for a long time, well before he took out a pair of utility poles early yesterday morning.

Was he a good kid? I have no idea, but let’s take his friends’ word for that and say he was. Criminal court records, however, also show a pattern of recklessness and mistakes he refused to learn from. He’s dead as a direct result of his own poor judgement.

That’s the truth. That’s the whole story. It should be told.

When we’re squeamish, for fear we’ll be perceived as heartless, we plunge headlong into the realm of unintended consequences. A community gets a saint but is robbed of opportunities to learn lessons and fix what’s broken.

Yes, often the truth hurts. The consequences of not telling it are more painful.

The point I’m trying to make here applies well beyond a 23-year-old who couldn’t correct his mistakes, or a couple of elderly RVers who failed to understand the jeopardy they were in.

In 2020, way too many people soft-pedaled the senility and obvious mental incapacity of a presidential candidate. Now, because those sympathetic twits were afraid to be tough on an old man, he occupies the Oval Office. An entire country (and perhaps the world) is paying the price.

The invasion of illegal immigrants is another example. Compassion for the struggling has overridden common sense. Public policy reflects emotion, not law.

We’ve all done it in our own lives, and we’ve seen what happens.

Tell the truth. Ignore the noise.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB