THE BLOG
12/21/2010 06:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Should There Be Crying in Baseball or Politics?

Who could forget when coach Tom Hanks yelled at his baseball player in the movie, A League of Their Own, "There's no crying in baseball!"? It was out of character for a baseball player to cry, and is it more acceptable because the baseball player was a woman. Likewise, is it out of character for the speaker of the House -- designate John Boehner to display his emotions in public? Is there no crying in politics?

Speaker Pro Tem John Boehner has been publicly humiliated and criticized for showing his emotions after recently breaking down in tears, on 60 Minutes, and at other public appearances. Is this a show of patriotism on his part... or weakness, or passion or mental instability?

Boehner was mocked and humiliated by the women of The View with the exception of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. They collectively said he has an emotional problem and made him the butt of their jokes about his emotions. Actually, they batted him around like a beach ball calling him the "Weeper of the House". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/13/view-john-boehner-crying_n_795916.html Is this what we have become, a society of constantly berating and mocking people with whom we disagree? The end result; however, commonly results in condemnation of the messenger with the significance of the message being lost. These types of personal attacks are the very substance of bullying behaviors. The goal of this type of communal mockery is intended to rock the core of the recipient and damage his or her reputation.

I recall another recent incident on The View when Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg stormed off the set when they didn't agree with Bill O'Reilly. I thought this was The View, where viewpoints are discussed. Storming off the set in disgust or breaking into tears, are both displays of passion... or weakness. It makes me wonder which behaviors are more socially and politically acceptable, passionate tears or intolerance of another point of view.

You can bet that John Boehner is working on refraining from displays of his emotions. He cannot hide his passion when he speaks about values and patriotic issues. Boehner, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and other public figures have recently cried in public. Our business acumen tells us to never let them see you sweat. But in this case, passion wells up emotion. I would rather see passionate leaders with conviction struggling to keep their tears in check as opposed to a dishonest display of sarcasm.

This passion can be found in any political party. The reality is that in present day America, the passion of a present day Jefferson Smith type of leader (Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939) is not respected nor appreciated. Maybe John Boehner is a real life Jefferson Smith.

Is it passion or weakness, patriotism or mental instability?

Did you ever look around at a baseball game while they play the national anthem? I have and let me tell you; you see grown men cry over the pride of their country. You see veterans struggle to keep their composure, people who can't sing because their emotions well up in their eyes.

I watch with emotional pride when my students graduate. They are often the first in their families to graduate from college, walk across the stage at graduation while their families cry out with pride. If that is a weakness of character or emotional instability, then maybe I'm guilty as charged along with countless other fine passionate Americans.

Is it passion or weakness, patriotism or mental instability?

We need to decide what is worse, a passion that draws a tear or a mockery that draws an insult. I think many American people would agree; we need more leaders with the passion of Jefferson Smith.

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