Monday, July 16, 2012
Jesse Jackson Jr.: Living with the David Syndrome
It happens so often I have a term to describe it – The David Syndrome. The recent victim of the deplorable condition is U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
The old folks used to call it “smelling yourself”. It’s the state before the fall. It happens suddenly and comes often without warning. It’s the rapid demise of those who have it all, but sacrifice it all for a moment of pleasure. It happens because of misuse of power and forgetting the importance of one’s position.
For those who have never walked in boots of power it is hard to understand. For those perceived as golden children it is easy to find compassion for people like Jackson. The pain Jackson carries may be rooted in the burden of exposure. It’s hard to fight back the tears when faced with what should have been, could have been, and would have been if not for a walk down the wrong path.
The fall of Jackson has become the subject of national dialogue. People want to know how a man with so much promise could make such a horrible series of mistakes. Some are sensitive to his being treated for an unspecified “mood disorder” by an unnamed doctor. Others condemn Jackson for being off the job for over a month.
Jackson’s fall from grace began when his name was tied to Rod Blagojevich as one willing to pay cash to assume Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Prosecutors alleged that longtime Jackson friend and businessman Raghuveer Nayak was prepared to raise up to $6 million in campaign donations if Blagojevich, the governor, named Jackson to the post. Nayak also paid for airfare for a female social acquaintance of Jackson to fly to Chicago.
The scandal cost Blagojevich his job and freedom. It has also tarnished the reputation of Jackson who is entangled in an ongoing House ethics investigation. Added to Jackson’s problems is the exposure of an affair. For those who hoped this apple would fall far from the tree, Jackson’s actions affirm the old adage like father like son.
Those who suffer from the David Syndrome have no place to hide. It’s tough to carry scandal. It’s even harder when an extramarital affair is in backdrop creating havoc on life at home. There is no peace at work. There is no comfort at home. There is no place to heal from that which one creates during a moment of weakness.
I call it the David Syndrome because of the King who optimizes the notion. King David used his power to sexually assault a married woman. When she shared being pregnant, David designed a plan to kill her husband. What followed was a series of incidents that reveal what happens when power is misused and that same power is utilized to cover up the mistakes we make.
Jackson is now left with severe emotional problems. Many lack sensitivity due to their expectation that he continue in his role. How can you work when facing those demons in your head? How do you move past the mistakes you make when they are reported before the world. It’s in the newspaper. It’s on the evening news. It’s talked about in the barbershop.
You land hard when you fall from grace. Sadly, you can’t make your way back after making that type of mistake.
The only thing left to do is heal. The only way to heal is to stay away.
Stay away Jr. Stay away.