The American people have a tendency to revel in the downfall of pillars of society, yet we ultimately forgive and forget many of their transgressions, even writing off Michael Vick's torture and slaughter of precious and defenseless dogs not as a fatal character flaw, but a mere "mistake."
Will we be so forgiving and magnanimous to Lance Armstrong? I surely hope not.
Armstrong not only engaged in doping, lying, and cheating, but pursued and intimidated those who dared to speak the truth about him, even succeeding in a lawsuit he filed against a periodical that had exposed him. His actions did not catch up with him for years as he utilized his empire and millions of dollars to sweep under the rug what he had done, engaging in a pervasive pattern of bald-faced falsehoods.
Lance Armstrong's denials of impropriety will go down in history alongside the infamous, "I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman ... Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie ... not a single time ... never. These allegations are false, and I need to go back to work for the American people." We forgave Bill Clinton for taking advantage of a young intern who was about the age of his daughter and many of us have gone on to regard him as one of our best presidents in many respects.
Why would we believe anything within Armstrong's self-serving statements today or set aside what he has done?
If Lance Armstrong is able to live the rest of his life as a free man respected by anyone and to retain all of his vast wealth, then justice will be but a pipe dream.
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