From my earliest days on this planet, I learned that Americans are always looking for a hero. They want to put someone on a pedestal and call that person a role model. Sadly, we haven’t had too many heroes in recent years, excluding worship of some political luminary. Luckily in the past two weeks, we now have two confirmed heroes. One is golfer Tiger Woods and the other is Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
The Tiger Woods story is full of mixed messages. There is no doubt that he hasn’t always conducted himself as a gentleman and his personal conduct destroyed his marriage. But he paid mightily for his mistakes losing millions of dollars in endorsements and his popularity in the golf world plummeted. After six years of darkness, he has somehow emerged as a new sports hero in an industry that hasn’t had many heroes lately.
Even a non-golfer, whether they are a man or a woman, has to marvel at his recent comeback winning his 80th championship. Crippled after serious back surgery and doubting whether he could ever mount a comeback, Woods fought week by week and tournament by tournament to regain his skills. The sight of hundreds of people running behind Woods and screaming “USA, USA” had to make even the most jaded person realize that Tiger had once again become a hero.
My second candidate for heroic conduct that deserves national applause is Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Her willingness to come forward and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee will give her a special place in the history of women who sacrificed much and gained little in the pursuit of the truth about her alleged attacker. Dr. Ford faced serious threats to her security and that of her family but was determined to tell her story, even at the risk that it would be ignored by an all-male Judiciary Committee majority.
On the very day that Dr. Ford testified, the National Center for Disease Control issued a study that one out of every three women in America has faced some type of sexual harassment or attacks and surprisingly that one out of every four males face the same problem. The CDC added that by its estimates, more than 60 percent of the incidents go unreported for fear of retribution. This report bolsters the bravery of Dr. Ford and the many women who will be encouraged to come forward in the months and years ahead to report these incidents.
In these days of national political tensions and divisions about almost every meaningful issue affecting our lives, it is gratifying to be able to point to two people from entirely different worlds who have sent out messages of hope and determination for those who need uplifting symbols.
Jerry Kremer is a former state assemblyman. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.