Paterno didn't do terrible things to young boys, but he knew what assistant coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly did and he covered it up. He failed in his duty as a leader to stand on the high ground and do what was right, no matter what the consequences.
You can look almost anywhere in our society — from Wall Street to Main Street — and see people in important leadership positions failing in their duties to shareholders and stakeholders as they put the ends before the means, ignore common decency and justify doing what is good for themselves and their friends, no matter who else gets hurt.
Take a look at Gov. Jerry Brown and L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, two guys in their 70s who have engaged in politics at high levels most of their lives, who have all the money they need to live like kings of yore for the rest of their lives, who should have nothing to gain by serving any interest — not even their own — other than the public interest.
Yet, Brown is putting a gun to the heads of California voters: “Give me your money or your [quality of] life.”
He has rigged it so his soak-the-rich-and-squeeze-everybody-else income- and sales-tax-hikes measure gets the top spot on the November ballot, a measure that was written to the satisfaction of the California Teachers Assn. and is nothing but a short-term Band-Aid.
He has pushed cities to the brink of bankruptcy and disrupted their long-term economic strategies by killing redevelopment, and he has booked $8 billion in revenue that might be generated by his tax measure in the state budget along with billions in cuts to schools, universities, welfare and healthcare for the poor.