Scandals are useful because they focus our attention on problems in ways that no speaker or reformer ever could.
Any morally or legally wrong deed that causes dismay and problems to people can fall under scandals. On one hand where scandals expose to us areas which were earlier unchecked and raises a cause to act proactively against repetition of such acts, not all scandals are ‘good’ in the sense that they would help us in a constructive way. Hence I do not totally agree nor totally disagree with the motion that scandals can substitute in a better way what reforms have tried to do.
Scandals mostly happen when people take advantage of flaws in society, and resort to methods like gossip, hurting of religious sentiments, and defaming by bringing down the reputation of people. For example, let us consider some scandals that happen almost every day in the corporate world. The most prolifically occurring scandals consist of those which include bribery or under-the-table acts between officials and the customers. In such cases, it would not stir a nerve within those who are not affected by it even if speakers continue to preach and explain how it is both morally and legally wrong to accept bribes. However, if an official is caught, and it results in him getting a severe punishment, then probably people would pay more heed to the deed and lesser people would be involved in such cases of bribery later. Another case could be where ministers are actually connected with the mob during rallies and who themselves urge the mob to raise an upheaval, all the while trying to show themselves aloof of it. Such cases of scandal widely happen, yet we will never pay attention to such deeds until they actually happen in front of our eyes and we see the consequences that the people face.
In other cases, however, scandals are far from useful. These mainly include morally binding cases, for example, where people go against their religion in favor for monetary benefits, or where some people are molested by others of the same or different sex. These kinds of scandals are absolutely unnecessary, and the main reason is that everyone of us knows that it is wrong. Proper education and upbringing, and proper reforms taking place can often ameliorate this, and, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, we would be better off by not experiencing such kinds of scandals rather than wait for them to happen so that we could learn from them. This is where the job of the reformer plays an important role. If the speaker has good oratory skills, he can specifically point out what problems exist in the society without having us depend on scandals to learn from them.
Hence, the message at the end of the day is that we usually learn the consequences of any type of scandal usually after seeing it firsthand. However, in some cases, knowing what is right and what is wrong, and where the problem lies, beforehand, so that the scandals occur less, speakers and reformers do play an important role in various such cases.