Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

Of late, I’ve been struggling to define decency.

Definitions or situations where I thought most thoughtful people would align under the normal heading of decency have been turned on their head. I’ve asked myself if I have a fluid definition of decency. I took my time with this question.

Life has gray areas. Life has trade-offs. Life has compromise. Life has disappointment. Life has rewards. Life has negotiations. Life has limitations. All that is true.

It’s within each of those areas where decency, morality, compassion, ethics and other standard-bearers come in to play that define who we are and what mark we will leave for ourselves and our posterity.

I align with a political party. That political party isn’t my touchstone, nor does it define me. I have views that are consistent with the other political party, as well as with no political party.

When I try to define who I am, my political affiliation doesn’t even make the top 10. It has become more than disturbing to see our entire governing system and social contract with each other become a tool of political gamesmanship.

In the past week, I’ve heard pastors use invectives against more than 50 percent of our population. I cringe to think about Sunday morning service in their parish. I see tweets from one who always looks for a foil or fight.

We are seeing so many things break apart before our eyes, and I wonder if we’ll ever again have the will to say, in the name of decency, “enough.”

During the recent spate of harassment allegations that are occurring in multiple industries and on the entire spectrum of political affiliations, I’ve asked myself would I vote party line regardless of ethical or decency concerns.

I have voted outside my political affiliation more than once. Hopefully, no political office or feared temporary shift in balance of political power is worth voting only for the R/D ( after the name.

Nor is that same R/D after the name enough for me to automatically assume one is better/worse than the other to the point where I long for either their deification or destruction.

Unfortunately, it seems we have devolved as a country to where each political party wants to annihilate the other. Working together, compromise, trying to do what is right is the now the new original sin.

When we decide to suspend reality in order to justify accepting child molestation, sexual harassment, lying, narcissism, autocracy, evil, dictatorship and many other behaviors that once were shunned in order to acquiesce to that one party declaration, then what does that say about us? Do we even have a decency meter anymore?

It now begs the question for all of us: What are we willing to accept to get our way – albeit temporarily – in any situation?

Hopefully, there is a governor switch somewhere that we know the difference between something that is an honest mistake and normal human failing versus when something is a total anathema to the standards of human decency this country has attempted to stand for since inception.

Where has all the decency gone?

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (