Editorial

EDITORIAL: Northam Controversy Points to Perils of a Closeted Past

In the days before surveillance cameras, social media, pin-sized recording devices and other high gadgetry came on the scene, it seemed a lot easier to put one’s past indiscretions, misdeeds and missteps into deep, dark secret hiding places — like wardrobe items we’re ashamed to have ever purchased but find impossible to discard. Today, no one’s closet is safe from eventual scrutiny and critique.

Still, if you’re aiming for a high-profile job or career, what are your options? Should you tell all and hope for the best or should you keep your fingers crossed and make sure that rabbit’s foot remains in your pocket — hoping and praying that no will ever know “the truth”?

Tragically, in the case of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, it appears that the past has made its way into the present with the potential to destroy his political future — or at least to render him devoid of any real power, prestige or potential to carry out the plans and programs he promised to fulfill when elected to lead the Commonwealth of Virginia.

While opposition from both members of his own party and the GOP continues to increase each day, Northam remains defiant, refusing to step down from the job for which he worked so hard to secure. But he didn’t help his cause when he changed his story — claiming innocence, then guilt, then innocence albeit with one exception.

Even Donald Trump referenced Northam and the debacle in which he’s now embroiled during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

The governor has landed smack dab in the middle of a firestorm from which there appears to be no escape. It’s too bad that he has the kinds of skeletons in his closet that make most politicians shudder. But it appears he does. Even if he says 1,000 Hail Marys, apologies for every conceivable act of stupidity and poor judgment that he committed or considered in the past — whether tinged with racist or sexist ideology or not, we fear that Northam may be unable to shed his current “lame duck” existence on the local and the national scene.

Unfortunately for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who went to the polls and cast their ballot on his behalf, given the direction in which he had appeared to be leading the commonwealth, those who live in Virginia will ultimately be the “biggest losers.”

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