The Bumbler vs. The Professional

There is an interesting moral judgment phenomenon going on in the news these days.  On the one hand we have Governor Blagojevich who, if nothing else, is a real slime ball – almost a caricature of some South-side second-rate racketeer out of a B-movie.  But has he, in fact, actually done any serious damage?  It looks more like a pile of bungled attempts at extortion than anything else.  Be that as it may, this incompetent would-be political gangster has all the headlines.

In the meantime, we have nice, polite, well educated and highly respected Mr. Madoff who has stolen billions from a huge variety of investors, and ruined the fortunes of untold others.  All he gets are a few brief reports on the business pages and a big ho-hum from a public that is simply not entertained very much by a thief of monumental proportions that are all but impossible to comprehend.

We are outraged by the bumbling boob and bored by the sophisticated big time thief and killer of hope.  What gives?  Why are we not all the more outraged by Mr. Madoff?  Why do we not think of him as a greater slime ball than Blagojevich?  I find the press and the public most puzzling.

2 thoughts on “The Bumbler vs. The Professional”

  1. I believe because most people would like to be Mr. Madoff (rich, powerful, self absorbed) and somewhere believe if only they could win the lotto, or some such, they would have the chance. AND he was successful at his deceit, It is an ugly side of our culture and of human kind indeed.Where as most people don\’t see themselves as having a chance to be a politician, nor would they want to be, AND he failed at his deceit. I believe we are also caught in a culture that wants to be the first to say I told you so about Obama and a new leadership. Dashing of hope is a sort of perverse power game, like the older sibling waiting to tell the younger child there is no santa.

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