Three months ago First lady Melania Trump kicked-off her White House initiative, titled “Be Best.” ...

     Unfortunately, Mrs. Trump stumbled out of the gate when the press discovered that a booklet about the initiative that her office reported she had co-written with the Federal Trade Commission turned out largely to be plagiarized from a pamphlet the agency had published four years earlier during the Obama Administration.

     The White House Office of the First Lady used the situation as an excuse to slam the “opposition press.” ... This may seem like a petty quibble, but one would assume “Be Best” implies “Be Honest.”

     Values such as truthfulness and accountability seem to be sliding from the swamp gas in Washington, D.C. all the way to the fresh air in Ripon. ...
All around us, it seems, people are behaving badly.

Tom Wopat
     Last week, the Commonwealth reported that the Ripon Chamber of Commerce disinvited “Dukes of Hazard” actor Tom Wopat from appearing at Septemberfest after he pleaded guilty last month to inappropriately touching two women, and possessing cocaine.

     ... here are comments from three respondents to the Commonwealth’s Facebook page:

     1. “He has been in the business for over 40 years and now some gals say something. Have you all been back stage at a Broadway show? Have you see (sic) what the women wear? It isn’t like he threw them down on the floor and took advantage of them. I admire his restraint. They need to suck it up and deal with it or get out of the business.”

     2. “How many men at Ripon bars ‘accost’ women by ‘bumping’ up against them. They aren’t charged because they aren’t famous. Again it is not right he did it but humans make mistakes.”

     3. “He has been in this business for 40 (sic) and nobody said anything about him until this ME TOO CRAP.”
Wopat misbehaved. But shame on those, too, who rationalize his boorish behavior by victim shaming.

Ripon College Freshman
     A black student on his first full day on campus is called the N-word by a passing motorist. Our community collectively is disgusted though not surprised. Leaders of the political party that began in Ripon have been eerily silent after our president has made multiple race-baiting comments.

     From the pages of this month’s Commonwealth: A Fairwater man is accused of grabbing a woman by the neck and slamming her into the ground. A Doty Street home is searched by FBI agents as an  occupant is apprehended for possible child exploitation. A Waupun “boyfriend” allegedly grabs a Ripon woman’s phone and throws it, and her, against the wall. A man allegedly threatens to kill Ripon city officials ...  

     Be Best?

     No, let’s be nice, be respectful, be gentle, be understanding, be patient, be empathetic, be humble and even be second best if it gives someone else a moment to shine.  ...

                                        — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Aug. 30, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.