News media are reporting the parking garage where Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein met with his anonymous undercover source during the Watergate scandal in the 1970’s will be torn down. The anonymous source became known as “Deep Throat”.
Reading the story brought back memories of the worst political scandal in U.S. history. The Watergate scandal shook Washington and the country to its roots and finally toppled then President Richard Nixon. Bernstein and co-reporter Bob Woodward wrote a best-selling Watergate book called All The President’s Men, which was later turned into a movie by the same name. The reporters’ probes resulted in a constitutional crisis that challenged the balance of power as well.
I was a newspaper reporter during the scandal and became fascinated with the saga as it unfolded. It was clear from the beginning that power, and pride were idols fueling the meltdown.
The Watergate saga reminds me of Solomon, the richest, wisest man. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 4:4,
“And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
No man, before or since, had all the wealth, glory, recognition, and honor that was given to Solomon. But he still was not happy. His fall was great.
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.” I Kings 11:4-6.
The Bible teaches us that worshiping idols like power and pride may make us feel big or look big to others. But it also teaches that the bigger we think we are, the harder we fall.