It was a long time ago that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (shown) sexually abused teenage boys. So long, in fact, that the crimes’ statute of limitations has expired. But a very small measure of justice was done Wednesday when the ex-Illinois congressman was sentenced to 15 months in prison, a $250,000 fine, and two years’ supervised release under the condition he submit to sex-offender treatment. The Republican had pled guilty to charges relating to his efforts to cover up his crimes, as CBS News reported:
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday admitted to sexually abusing teenage boys during his time as a high school wrestling coach in a Chicago suburb before his career as an elected official.
Struggling to stand in federal court Wednesday, 74-year-old Hastert gripped his walker, approached the microphone and said that he "mistreated" some of his wrestlers and apologized.
"They looked to me, and I took advantage of them," Hastert said as he awaited his sentencing after pleading guilty last fall to breaking federal banking laws in a hush-money case.
Hastert had paid a victim, identified only as “Individual A,” who threatened to expose him $1.7 million of a promised $3.5 million between 2010 and 2014. Hastert’s withdrawals of the hush money are what led to the federal investigation. And with his conviction, he joins a long line of Illinois politicians who have wound up in prison (the Prairie State has a saying, “Illinois: where our governors make our license plates").
Hastert has now joined another group, one not in any way a laughing matter: that of prominent pederasts/pedophiles. And many of them never had to answer for their trespasses.
Late congressman Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) was found to have had sexual relationships with teenage male pages, but nonetheless was reelected to office until his retirement in 1997. In 2006, Representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) had to resign after it was discovered he’d sent lewd Internet messages to teen male pages. Leftist icon and man of letters Gore Vidal was, according to family members and as the Daily Mail put it, a “globe-trotting paedophile who preyed on underage boys”; he also admitted in his memoirs he was “attracted to adolescent males" and once told a friend, “You know I’m a pederast.” Yet he died in 2012 at age 86 not having spent a day in prison. Also escaping the hangman was famed British DJ Jimmy Savile, a serial abuser whose decades of pedophilia were only exposed after his 2011 death. And these are just a handful of many.
Yet as a history teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School between 1965 and 1981, Hastert was part of an even larger group: government-school teachers who sexually abuse students. While the media never tire of focusing on the Catholic Church sex scandal — even though most cases originated prior to 1990 precisely because the matter had largely been addressed — there’s an ongoing sex abuse scandal in government schools far greater in magnitude. As LifeSiteNews.com reported in 2010, “According to Charol Shakeshaft, the researcher of a little-remembered 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, ‘the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.’ According to the 2004 study ‘the most accurate data available at this time’ indicates that ‘nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.’”
And faring even worse, perhaps, are youth in Hollywood. While Woody Allen’s and Roman Polanski’s abuse of minors received moderate press, they simply reflect what critics say is a “casting couch” for kids. As former '80s child star Corey Feldman put it:
I can tell you that the number one problem in Hollywood was, and is, and always will be pedophilia.… I was surrounded by them [pedophiles] when I was 14 years old. Surrounded — literally. Didn't even know it. It wasn't until I was old enough to realize what they were and what they wanted, and what they were about.... They were everywhere, like vultures.
I reported on this issue in the March 2014 New American article “Hollywood Dearest: Seared Souls and the Silver Screen.”
Then there’s the scandal involving pedophiles embedded in the very upper echelons of the British government. Covered up for most of the last 15 years, the “story dates back to the 1980s and involves politicians, judges, intelligence officers, staff at royal palaces, and figures from private schools, big business, and the Church of England — and more than 100 government files on the pedophile network that have mysteriously gone missing,” as I wrote in 2015. Given this morally compromised state, it’s not surprising politically correct U.K. officials also covered up, for 15 years, a Muslim child-sex ring responsible for the abuse of 1,400 minors in just one town. Political correctness and moral correctness, it seems, never have the same address.
And this would explain a still larger problem. Some have noted, as I elucidate in “The Slippery Slope to Pedophilia,” that our oh-so-caring politically correct culture is now being used in the effort to legitimize adult/child sex. Yet while many exclaim “That will never happen!” (precisely what was said about faux marriage just 20 years ago), what about legal child sexual abuse, the type engendering a moral corruption that guarantees a continual defining of deviancy downward?
It’s not just that children today are often subject to “sex education” — derived from the discredited work of pedophile Alfred Kinsey — portraying homosexuality as just another flavor of the day. It’s that now we confuse them not just about sex, but the sexes, as we tell them they can be a boy or girl or any one of scores of “genders,” as their little misshapen hearts desire.
I’ve often pointed out, probably more than regular readers care to hear, that the “transgender” agenda is wholly unscientific. If a psychiatrist recommends a person for euphemistically named “gender-reassignment surgery” — which is mere mutilation — the diagnosis is “gender dysphoria.” But there’s no medical test whatsoever for it. Rather, as PsychCentral.com puts it, it’s based on “strong and persistent cross-gender identification”; in other words, strong and persistent feelings that you actually are a member of the opposite sex. This is no more credible than claiming a mental patient should live as the Queen of England because she feels she is, a BIID sufferer is right to amputate his legs because he feels he should be without them, or that a patient with clear arteries should be given a bypass operation because he feels he has heart disease. As former “transsexual” Alan Finch put it, “Transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists.”
Yet on this fanciful basis very young children have been allowed to live as members of the opposite sex; their schools have treated them as such, even allowing them to use the opposite sex’s bathroom; and the media identify them by their preferred pronouns.
Have we lost our minds?
We wouldn’t let a young child choose his diet and eat ice cream for dinner or choose to dispense with schooling and play all day merely because those things feel right. But we’re going to let the babe make a life-rending decision based on psycho-babble fashions that, like “gender neutrality” theory before them, will soon pass away?
Worse still, some schools have put all their students through “sensitivity training” to ensure they’ll participate in one child’s sexual delusion. Can this yield anything but a deluded generation? Children need standards just as trains need guiderails, and removing them down the track leads to disaster. To say there’s no preferred normality is to normalize the abnormal.
The main reason we trouble over molested children is the prospect of molested minds. Physical injuries heal, but as sexual-abuse victims attest, psychological and emotional scars can last a lifetime. Will the child become an abuser himself? Will he properly bond with a spouse? Will the child’s sexuality develop normally?
Quite fittingly, the Cult of the Body worshippers who birth federal nutrition guidelines and the babe-in-bubble-wrap mentality are the very people giving us legalized child sexual abuse. It leaves the body alone and goes straight for the mind.
Photo: AP Images