After reading an article by Roger Simon on the pain felt by a group of Miss America contestants, I'm beginning to understand that those we elect to high office are a reflection of what we consider important.
In this day and age when Honey Boo Boo reigns on reality TV, it is not the most comforting of thoughts.
I first became aware of beauty pageants as a way of life when my Mom required my help in interviewing care givers in North Carolina. One of the ladies had a grandchild that was a perpetual contestant and it had become a family obsession.
My thoughts on seeing pictures of the child were much as I thought of the pictures of Jon Benet Ramsey. She struck me as looking like an underage tart being exploited by a mother who 'never was and never would be' trying to live her life vicariously through her daughter.
Perhaps it does become fun for the young ladies over time. Heaven knows they work long hard hours to achieve the perfection needed to win. Some of course are extremely talented and if they win they are rewarded with mostly fleeting fame and fortune. How many of the last five Miss Americas can you name? And what have they done with their lives since their reign ended? For that matter what did they do during their reign? Was it really worth giving up being a normal little girl?
That's why I was concerned about how this particular group of girls reacted to their loss. Not so much for themselves, which is good, but for how they felt they had let down their communities. Being young ladies immersed in this lifestyle for years, I can understand their feelings. I'm more concerned as to whether or not their communities actually felt the way these girls perceived.
I hope not. I hope it's more like, "We're happy for your success, good luck in the next round." No more important than the local 4-H kids winning a blue for the best bovine. If it is as important as the young ladies seem to believe then our sense of what's really important is certainly out of whack!
Then maybe it is. When you consider what some of our leaders consider most important – like the amount of vacation they take versus the time they spend in Washington doing the nation's work, it's apparent they too have a perspective that's out of whack.
Of course there are the media executives who think the likes of Honey Boo Boo is worthy television and the people who seem to agree. For the moment my perspective seems to be in the minority. Is it temporary or is this what we've become?