May 16, 2007
Petitions for Hilton pardon should fall on deaf ears
Paris Hilton's fans have petitioned California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon her for her drunken-driving "mistake." Describing Paris as "an American celebrity and socialite" who "provides hope for young people - globally," the document insists that her crime doesn't warrant jail time. Are young people so star-struck they can't recognize her loathsome behavior?
Paris Hilton's behavior continues to be out of control. Her self-abuse, when it threatens others with driving under the influence, crosses legal limits. Laws are created, and then enforced, to protect members of society from irresponsible and destructive actions, including those of rich and famous people. Individual freedom is willingly given up by thoughtful and mature citizens out of concern for the safety and security of others. Civilized people choose to live together in peace and harmony for purposes of prosperity, and they enact laws to maintain order.
Breaking the rules of society comes with a price. Fines, probation and jail sentences are consequences for individuals who lie, cheat, steal, rob, murder, deal drugs, and cause harm to others, especially those unable to protect themselves. Sadly, justice is not always carried out uniformly. Some powerful individuals have "skated" when they should have paid serious penalties. Guilt has sometimes been papered over by the skilled maneuvering of articulate attorneys. However, the American system promises fairness, remaining blind to social and cultural differentiations, including wealth or celebrity.
Paris Hilton appears to be a very rich, spoiled brat, with the morals of an alley cat. Her claim to fame is well-timed publicity spotlighting her sleazy and scandalous activities.
Unfortunately, her zealous fans desperately yearn for a public figure's endorsement of their adolescent cravings. Sex, drugs and rock n' roll - certainly not new - are frequently the forces that drive hormone-trapped youth. Few of her fans have access to the perceived "unlimited budget" of an heiress like Paris.
What should this "cause-less" rebel do?
Paris' repeated drunken driving must be stopped, before she kills innocent people.
Incarceration, to dry out, think and then grow up, could improve her life and legacy.
Wealth and celebrity must not be allowed to trump accountability. Having to own repeated irresponsible behaviors is step one in her maturation.
Paris Hilton's best chance for creating a legitimate "cause" begins when she decides to clean up her life by exhibiting integrity, encouraging her fans to do the same.
Respecting the law means you don't do the crime if you are unwilling to do the time.
Paris and her parents need grow up and handle their wealth graciously!