In March 2020, a major league baseball team, the Houston Astros, was caught cheating in two World Series, one of which they won. They probably practiced all season in order to get there. The punishment (there was no way of weaseling out of some punishment) was suspensions, a big fine (which to the Astros was pocket change and maybe “the cost of doing business”) and the termination of managers and a GM. What is astounding is that none of the players who benefited from and inflated their batting averages due to the pilfered signs said they were sorry or gave back their tarnished World Series rings or bonuses. Please understand, I am not a Dodgers fan. “They wuz robbed,” but this message is about ethics, not fandom. However, the World Series win should be erased not just for the Astros, but for the Red Sox, who cheated as well when they beat the Dodgers and they should lose the win as well.

However, after thinking about it, I come to an all too obvious and painful conclusion. Why should they? These days, lying, breaking laws and ethical boundaries does not seem to matter as long as you win. This was just baseball. No big deal. Better yet, look at Washington and our government and our “leaders.” It’s a maelstrom of bald-faced lies and deceit. At the current rate nothing will change and the moral core of our democracy will continue to decay. So what?! The economy is good, the stock market keeps rising and the trains run on time.

Dear Readers, I fear for your children and grandchildren and my grandchildren. We as individuals need to step up and correct rampant public and institutional ethical corruption or generations of Americans will become unrecognizable from what was past. The ends do not justify the means. That is a message that is beginning to become lost. Let’s not let it happen. Challenge this in your home, your schools, your place of worship and at the polls. It matters.