We don't really care anymore? Oh, sure, some of us are shocked to the core about the child-sex-abuse scandal at Penn State University. Some of us are genuinely angry and wonder aloud on talk-radio stations how this could happen again.
For me, it's easy to understand how this could happen again: We don't really care about protecting children from sexual predators even though we claim that safeguarding our children is our No. 1 responsibility and concern. We talk a good game, but we don't really give a damn.
My opinion may anger you, but don't forget that it wasn't too long ago that a massive child-sex-abuse scandal plagued the Catholic Church. Have you noticed how that ugly story has quietly gone away, having been forgotten already by the press and America? We moved along. What a shame. What a crime.
If we cared, truly cared, any and all priests and other church officials who for decades swept this vile abuse under the rug would be in prison, as they are all complicit and should have been charged with numerous felonies.
The same goes for the Penn State coaches and school officials who supposedly were told of the scandal there but did not contact the police. If we truly cared, we would demand that they all face criminal charges and lengthy prison sentences.
If we truly cared, we would demand that pedophiles never be released from prison, as we know that they have the highest recidivism rate of any criminal. By letting them out of prison, we are virtually guaranteeing that they will victimize other innocent children. And we claim we care?
What we have created on our watch is a soulless legal system, not a justice system. A system based on justice would not permit a convicted pedophile ever to experience freedom again. Though I have no statistics to support this, I believe the average American even would support the death penalty for pedophiles.
Too many of us as parents don't even care enough to attend our child's parent-teacher conference or check our children's homework. Moreover, too many of our children are dropping out of high school, thereby condemning themselves to lives of poverty. And we as a society and as parents claim we care about kids? No we don't. Not really.
The Penn State child-sex-abuse story will slip quickly from the 24-hour news cycle and our national consciousness. Some other shocking and disgusting story will replace it in a couple of days and captivate our attention for a fleeting moment or two. Nothing meaningful will be done.
We no longer fix problems in America. Instead, we shuffle about under the illusion of doing something while the problem continues to fester and grow. As I write this, who knows how many recidivistic pedophiles are abusing kids? Those predatory monsters should be behind bars or executed.
I won't be convinced that we as a society are even beginning to care about kids until every Penn State official who knew about this horrible and despicable crime but did not report it to the police is charged with a crime, convicted and locked up. However, my money says there will be no justice, only hand-wringing, tearful apologies and pleas for forgiveness from university officials. After all, we must win football games.
Fixing problems requires bold leadership and relentless commitment. I'm not convinced that is part of the American psyche anymore. America has become a culture of excuse makers, not problem solvers.
No, we don't really care about children. What we truly care about is our favorite sports team's record, our favorite show on television and being entertained. Admit it.
Penn State clearly cared more about the college football program, money and image than it did about protecting children. Admit that, too.
How many more child-abuse scandals have to occur before we take serious action and actually do something about the problem and fix it?
Meanwhile, Lady Justice is being raped along with our kids right there before the bench. And we claim we care. What America has are excuse-making hypocrites who don't really care. Admit it.
Ted Nugent is an American rock 'n' roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of "Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" and "God, Guns & Rock 'N' Roll" (Regnery Publishing).